Ben Jones, who coached at New Albany (then W.P. Daniel) High School, was inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) 2017 Hall of Fame on June 20th.
His successful New Albany stint was Coach Jones’ last stop in a successful, multi-layered career of coaching, molding athletes, and serving in various associations. He excelled in taking teams with poor records and turning them into winners. In New Albany, he took on a team that had not won a game the previous year, making them Little Ten Champions in his first year. Jones retired from coaching in 1987, after eight seasons at New Albany, where he compiled a 60-23-1 record.
In another “first,” in 1967 Coach Ben Jones’ Itawamba Agriculture High School Indians became the first totally integrated football team in the state of Mississippi.
Jones was an important figure in the creation of the Mississippi Association of Coaches Hall of Fame in 1972, and helped establish the MS high school playoffs. Published reports quote Jones as saying, “One of the things I am proudest of is establishing a High School Coaches Hall of Fame when I was President of the Mississippi Coaches Association.”
Jones’ award was accepted by his daughters at a ceremony in Peoria, Illinois. Jones was unable to attend in person due to his health.
Hotty Toddy. com article (January 2013) on Ben Jones: http://hottytoddy.com/2013/01/14/ben-jones/