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Head coach Joey Jones and USA football announce their plans

Head coach Joey Jones resigns.

Head coach Joey Jones resigns.

Charles Harrison, Reporter

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University of South Alabama Football head coach Joey Jones and the USA Athletic Department released a statement saying Jones intends to resign following the completion of the 2017 regular season. Jones, the ‘Father of Jaguar Football’ was named head coach at the inception of the team in 2007, and is the only head coach in program history.

Jones began the program in earnest in 2009 when he lead the Jags out onto the field for the first time against Hargrave Military Academy Tigers, a game the Jaguars won 30-13. The Jags then went on to win all 17 games they would play in its opening second season. In 2011, Jones lead the Jags to a (6-4) season in the only year the Jags were a Division Two team.

In 2012, the Jags began their first season as a Division One team, posting a (2-11) record, defeating Nichols State and Florida Atlantic University. 2013 saw the Jags first .500 season as an FBS team with a (6-6) record. In 2014, Jones lead the Jags into their first ever bowl game, a 33-28 loss to Bowling Green State University in the Camellia Bowl. 2015 saw the Jags going (5-7), but they earned their first major victory, defeating No. 19 ranked San Diego State Aztecs 34-27 in overtime on the road.

On Sept. 3, 2016, the Jags got one of the biggest wins in program history when Mississippi State missed a field goal with only seconds to go set up the Jags first win over a team in a power five conference. The 21-20 win over Mississippi State was the first win in the second six win season for the Jags as an FBS team. They went to their second and final bowl game under Jones, a 45-21 loss to the Air Force Academy in the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl.

2017, was a rough year for the Jags, starting the year (0-2). They suffered big losses to Ole Miss and Oklahoma State. The Jags appeared to come back from the (1-3) start when they defeated the rival Troy Trojans on Oct. 11, in a big Wednesday night match-up, but despite beating Troy, and then coming home to defeat the University of Louisiana Monroe Warhawks, the Jags couldn’t to keep the momentum alive. The Jags went on to lose three of their next four games defeating the Arkansas State Red Wolves, who were at the time the No. 1 team in the SBC, then the next week suffering the first shutout in school history to the winless Georgia Southern team. The Jags are scheduled to finish out the season on Saturday, Dec. 2 against New Mexico State University.

Across Jones’s tenure, the Jags brought in a lot of developing talent. They had 43 all-Sun Belt Conference honorees, 23 players who went on to play at the professional level, and five players who participated in the Reese’s Bowl.  The Jags developed well off of the field as well as on, with many players earning academic honors and taking place in charity events across the community.

On Monday, Nov. 20, Jones announced his intention to resign his position as head coach of the Jaguars after nine season, posting a (52-49) total record the loss came on the heels of the first shutout history, when Georgia Southern gave the Jags a 52-0 loss Athletic Director Joel Erdmann declined to say whether or not this loss ultimately lead to the decision for Jones to step down. Jones said he would like to continue his coaching career elsewhere following his resignation.

 

“I will hopefully be on the power five level, be an assistant coach somewhere,” Jones said, when asked about his own future moving forward.

“We will now begin the search for a head coach immediately,” Erdmann said, when asked about the future of the Jags. There is currently no set timeline moving forward, and there are no names of potential replacements released yet. It will be interesting to see if the Jags can land a big name to replace the ‘Father of Jaguar Football.’ For more information about Jaguar Athletics, visit USAJaguars.com.

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Head coach Joey Jones and USA football announce their plans