New FHS coach ‘excited’, ready

Published 12:01 am Saturday, June 18, 2011

Newly named Florala Wildcats head football coach Justin Jones said he is excited to take the helm at the school.

Jones is the fourth coach in four years to take the reigns of the program.

The Covington County Board of Education approved Jones’ hire Thursday night.

Last month, the board non-renewed one-year coach Chris Buckler, who had a 1-9 season in 2010.

“I feel like Florala was where God wanted me to be,” Jones said in a telephone interview. “(FHS principal) Mr. (Donny) Powell gave me the opportunity to interview with him.

“I’m excited to be at Florala,” he said. “It’s a town that loves football, and I’m just excited to be here.”

Powell said Jones’ enthusiasm and energy were top selling points during the interview process.

“He is young and energetic, and I’m excited for him coming to Florala,” Powell said. “The energy that he has is one thing that’s really impressed me, and the fact that he’s excited to be here in building a program.”

Jones has served as the strength and conditioning coach and wide receivers coach at Enterprise High School, a Class 6A school, for the last six years.

Before his stint at EHS, Jones coached at New Brockton High School for two years.

Jones comes to Florala from a team that compiled a 41-25 record in the last six seasons. Five of those seasons, Enterprise made an appearance in the state playoffs.

Jones said he got the chance to meet the players on the football team Friday, and added that each of them seem eager to get “started.”

“I think they’re excited, and I’m excited, and we’re ready to get started,” he said. “I want to try to give an opportunity for every kid to be something special and make this program a top 10 experience in their lifetime.”

When asked what his coaching philosophy is on the field, Jones said it all has to do with “pursuing excellence through faith.”

The summer workout program for the Wildcats will begin next Monday, where they will take part in a three-day-a-week program until the start of fall practice, which is Aug. 1.

Jones has a wife, Joni; and three children, Anna, Abby and Jacub.