Even when Al Jones isn’t conducting practices or pacing the sidelines, he considers himself a coach.
That includes his time as a teacher and an administrator.
So Jones, currently the assistant principal at St. Augustine, anticipates his return to coaching this fall.
Jones was named the football coach at St. Aug on Thursday.
“I’ve always worked and dealt with kids, always been a leader and a motivator,” Jones said. “That’s the bottom line in football and any organization. People get caught up in calling plays, but it’s about building relationships and influencing people. I’ve been doing that my whole career.
As a an administrator, I never stopped coaching.”
Jones replaces Cyril Crutchfield, who spent three seasons as coach before parting ways with the school.
Crutchfield went 22-12 with the Purple Knights, including 4-6 this past season and 1-4 in Catholic League play. St. Aug won the Catholic League in 2013 and reached the semifinals of the Division I playoffs.
“I want to get us back to where we are supposed to be,” said Jones, a 1975 St. Aug grad. “Our goal at St. Aug is to always be the best and always be committed to excellence.”
Jones, a former defensive end at St. Aug, has over 30 years of experience in education and coaching. He will be making his second stint on the sideline for the Purple Knights after serving as defensive coordinator from 1981-86.
He left for a teaching position at Frederick Douglass High School and served as coach there from 1994-1999.
“He understands the history of St. Augustine football and where it needs to go,” St. Aug principal Sean Goodwin said in an emailed statement. “I trust him like no other to get the job done. He’s what we need at this time.”
Jones hasn’t met with his players yet, but word about his hire started making its way around Thursday.
“I think he is a good man,” St. Aug tight end Jamal Pettigrew said. “I think he will serve well as a head coach.”
Jones’ head coaching duties start immediately.
He will also continue his role as assistant principal for the remainder of the school year. He will begin the 2015-16 school year as the director of student support and services.
“I’m extremely excited,: Jones said. “I am thankful to my principal for having the faith and confidence in me to get St. Aug back to where we’re supposed to be.”