Today was the last time Coach Jones would coach a game in the Clovis High Cougar basketball gym as head coach. A gym that has been home to him and his family for the past 15 years. As the longest running coach in the district in basketball, Coach Jones worked in “his” gym today for the very last time as head coach of boys basketball. It was a day that I found to be emotional. I met him in this gym, chased all 4 kids across the floor during games, and spent many hoopster camps and AAU tournaments in my “home”. How does one move on? How does one say good-bye to what is the only gym we knew better than our own home. In this gym my kids could tell you where the best seat is, the warmest seat, and the coldest seat. They could tell you the best hiding place and who would give them free food from the snack bar.
Coach has spent our entire married life in this gym, hours sweating and working with his kids that were not his own; constantly making them better then what they ever thought they could ever be. He still gets to school before school starts every morning at 6:40 to open up “his” home and work-out his boys. And in one swift moment our family has no gym to call our own, no team to cook dinner for, no place to raise our kids. All of us striped from our family, the ones we spent countless of gym times with, Reno trips, and summer trips with as we watched our boys play, learn, and make memories. No one ever thinks about what happens to that coach that gets replaced. No one thinks of the aftermath. It’s like coach said, “it’s like being adopted at 13 years old.”
Today, Coach Jones coached his last game in “his” gym. It was his son’s AAU team and they won the championship game in the 3rd grade division. It was a great game, close to the very end. TSU coming up from behind and winning by 1! Those are the best games. Everyone stopped as the nail-biting game came to an end. No one was happier than Coach Jones. No one was sadder than Coach Jones. That's the kind of coach he was, not only coaching his Varsity team, but his youth, the first experience boys have within the program. Coaching them to be champions, not only on the court, but more importantly off the court.
So tonight we say good-bye to Clovis High School Boys Basketball and choose to cherish the memories made throughout the last 18 years. Coach Jones is a great man, amazing coach, and even more amazing father and husband. Tough Smart Unselfish (yea that’s what TSU stands for). That describes Coach Jones. Where the road will take us, only God knows, but as for tonight we stop and remember Coach Jones and the legacy he leaves behind. The All-Time Winniest coach at Clovis High School Basketball, Five times Tri-River Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, Fresno Bee Coach of the Year, sent many players to play college ball, Three times League Champion, Two times Section Runner Up. His hard work and dedication and his commitment to his players and the Clovis High Community was unmatched. He was a coach that was truly in it for the kids. He truly built an army of basketball players and is leaving the program with a tremendous amount of potential and promise. Loyal till the end...my hero Johnny Jones!