St. Augustine as a school is going from one Jones to another. 

Nathaniel Jones has been named new head football coach at St. Augustine.

Jones, a former head coach at Edna Karr, spent the past two seasons as the Purple Knights defensive coordinator.

He replaces Al Jones, who retired in December after three seasons.

"I'm grateful to everyone at St. Augustine for this opportunity," Nathaniel Jones said. "I look forward to building new relationships with alumni, donors, community members and friends of the athletic department that will help strengthen and continue to move the football program to the next level.

"I am excited and will work diligently to bring the same pride and excellence to Purple Knight football that we know and expect from all aspects of St. Augustine High School."

Before serving as St. Aug's defensive coordinator, Jones was an assistant coach and defensive coordinator at the University of St. Francis in Illinois.

He spent two seasons before that as head coach at Karr, his alma mater, leading the Cougars to the Class 4A state championship game in 2013. Jones compiled a 20-6 record in his two seasons at Karr.

"Coach Jones emerged as the an ideal selection after an exhaustive search which included many excellent applicants," St. Aug athletic director Barret Rey said in an emailed statement. "He brings a wealth of coaching and program-building experience and success."

He also been an assistant at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Midwestern State University, and Northwestern State.

The Purple Knights finished 7-4 this past season, including  4-2 (tied for second place) in the Catholic League. They reached the second round of the Division I playoffs, where they lost to eventual state champion Catholic High 7-3.

With Jones as the defensive coordinator, they allowed just 13.4 points per game in 2017. The Purple Knights kept four teams out of the end zone, including three shutouts (McDonogh 35, Capitol High and in the playoffs against Jesuit) and a 29-3 victory over Shaw. 

Follow Rod Walker on Twitter, @rwalkeradvocate.

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