JACKSONVILLE – A Snead State alumnus was honored by Jacksonville State University for his achievements as a student-athlete and a legendary coach.
Jacksonville State dedicated the court at Pete Mathews Coliseum as the Bill Jones Court. Jones was recognized at half-time of the men's basketball game against Belmont on Thursday, Feb. 22.
"I am very honored to have the basketball court named for me," Jones said. "I want it to be a reminder of how many players, managers, assistant coaches, and support personnel gave all they had to make our basketball program a success for many years. When all our loyal JSU fans see my name on the court, I hope they recall all the great times we had in that coliseum."
Born September 5, 1944, in Guntersville, Jones played at Snead State Community College before joining Jacksonville State's basketball squad in 1964. At JSU, he led the Gamecocks in scoring in each of his two seasons. During his senior year, he led in free throw shooting at 84.7 percent and was named to the Alabama College Conference All-Conference Team.
To this day, he is the only JSU men's basketball player to have his number retired. His No. 12 hangs from the rafters of Pete Mathews Coliseum.
He began his head coaching career at Florence State, now the University of North Alabama, in 1972. After two years, he became the head coach at Jacksonville State and began a string of 11 seasons with at least 20 wins.
During his 24-season tenure, Jones was named as named the 1985 Kodak National Coach of the Year and received Gulf South Conference Coach of the Year honors three times. His highest honor came when his 1985 Gamecocks captured the NCAA Division II National Championship.
Upon retirement following the 1997-1998 seasons, his career record at JSU stood at 449-196, making him the winningest basketball coach in school history.
"We are so proud to be able to place Coach Jones' name on our court," JSU Athletics Director Greg Seitz said. "Coach was incredibly successful during his tenure here, including winning numerous conference championships and the 1985 NCAA Division II National Championship, while also having a significant positive impact on countless lives at Jacksonville State University. It is only fitting that we honor him in such a special way."
Jones was recently announced as a 2018 inductee into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. He will enter the Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 28.
Along with being inducted into the JSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991, he is also a member of the Amateur Softball Hall of Fame and was a charter member of the Marshall County Sports Hall of Fame.
Press Release Courtesy of Jacksonville State University