Jones out as Rams football coach

Thursday, February 19, 2009
ELIZABETH DODD ~ edodd@semissourian.com
Ronnie Jones stepped downed as the Scott City football coach Wednesday.

Ronnie Jones resigned as football coach at Scott City on Wednesday after two years at the school. He cited his long commute and the possibility of accepting another position as two of his main reasons for leaving.

Some Rams players attended the Scott City school board meeting Wednesday to support Jones' return as coach next fall, but they were informed he had resigned.

Jones, who did not attend the meeting, said that he was not forced to resign by the board and he was unaware the players went to the meeting.

"I've been thinking about [resigning] and the deal is the distance I travel every day," said Jones, who lives in New Madrid. "It's a pretty good ways to travel every day. Also, there's just so many opportunities that come along and there's an opportunity that I'm looking into that would help me do what I want to do after I retire."

Jones would not specify on the job opportunity, which he said might come about in the next week.

"I might have a possibility that I can continue to coach as well as be retired, and that's my ultimate goal," Jones said. "I still like to coach a lot and I like to try to find programs and leave them better than I found them. I'm excited about that possibility."

Jones said that he officially resigned, but he has started to fill out the paperwork to retire. His contract expires July 1.

He plans to continue to work at the school until then, and he will help coach the track team this spring.

Jones has coached high school football since 1974, including a long stint as coach of New Madrid County Central.

Jones led the Rams to a 6-4 overall record and 2-1 record in the district in 2007.

The Rams went 4-6 under Jones this past fall, but still won Class 2 District 2 with a 2-1 record in district play. The district title was the Rams' first since 1999.

"I'm really pleased with the outcome of what we got accomplished there in the two years I was there," Jones said. "Of course, we won the district this year. ... The junior varsity went 7-1 and that was predominately freshmen or sophomores that's on that bunch and there's probably a nucleus of 25 kids that are very good athletes."

Jones also said he and his coaching staff did a successful job of increasing participation numbers.

"Whenever you do this [resign], there's a lot of speculation out there," Jones said. "I think there was scuttlebutt there that I was unhappy about certain things. The only thing I was unhappy with was the fact that we didn't get the assistant coaches in place as quick as I would have liked to with some experience."

Jones was unable to beat rival Chaffee during his two years at the school. When the Rams lost to the Red Devils in 2007, it ended a 21-game winning streak for Scott City.

"I'm sure there was some scuttlebutt there about how we didn't beat Chaffee," Jones said. "You know the thing about it is that when the dust settles, what I look at is the state competition as far as winning the district and then advancing in the state. Chaffee beat us, yeah. But when district time came around, I didn't see them in the playoffs."

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