UVA Star Perry Jones to Boost Football


Katie Pajewski

New running back coach, Perry Jones, looks on as Massaponax defeats Albemarle 14-35.

Alex Leslie, Staff Reporter

Perry Jones, former running back at the University of Virginia, has become the new running back coach for the Albemarle Patriots football team.

“Teaching and coaching [are] somethings that I ultimately wanted to get into down the road,” running backs coach Perry Jones said. “I just thought this would be a good place to start and get a jump start on the rest of my life.”

Jones has recorded the ninth most all-purpose yards in UVA history, with over 3,700 yards throughout his career. Jones also became one of UVA’s four captains and earned a spot on the All-ACC third-team in 2012. Furthermore, Jones became one of UVA’s three seniors ever in UVA’s history to be invited to a postseason All-Star game earlier this year.

This year Jones has decided to exchange his helmet for a coaching headset, becoming Albemarle’s Varsity running backs coach and JV’s Offensive Coordinator.

“Perry being a former Running Back, a very good one, has brought in new drills, ideas, and mindset,” head coach Mike Alley said.  “He had instant respect from his backs.”

While  the coaches were excited to get some help, the running backs were excited to get a prominent new mentor.

“I was excited to have someone who is known widely for his skills as a running back to come and coach our varsity team,” junior running back Moses Boamah said.

Jones brings a work ethic refined through college and a prestigious high school football career.

“Coach Jones brings a higher level of insight and understanding to football, not only from his own personal level, a high school that had a very prosperous football program, but also from a college level. That gives us all an idea of not only what it takes to play at the next level but what it takes to perform better,” Boamah said.

Jones hopes to teach AHS students some principles that he learned while playing at UVA and throughout his previous high school years.

“He has taught us new fundamentals when it comes to running the ball,” Boamah said. “The little things that we thought did not matter, he has improved.”

“I have a lot of years in football with just watching it and knowing the game. I played in high school, got a scholarship, and played in college. I can share with these guys what I have learned over the years,” Jones said. “Something that a lot of high schools don’t have [is] a coach has that played at the college level.”

Along with his collegiate experience, Jones has brought an element of groundedness, helping the players prepare for the future, no matter what it entails.

“Statistics show that most of these guys are not going to go on to play college football,” Jones said. “However, it doesn’t matter if you do or you don’t; it is just a matter of whatever you do in life, go at it 100 percent and you will succeed.”

Regardless of Albemarle’s players’ future, Jones believes that the Patriots could go far this year with hard work, discipline and effort.

“He [Jones] has brought a lot of energy and experience to the team as a running back coach, pushing our running backs to their limits through drills and in game situations,” Boamah said. “He is a phenomenal asset to the team.”

Albemarle have already improved upon last years 0-9 record. The patriots are currently 1-2; however, Jones believes they can go farther than that.

“[Albemarle can go] as far as the team wants to go,” Jones said. “I think they can win the rest of their games. Right now we are 1-1 [as of Sept. 17] but I easily think we could finish the regular season off at 9-1 and go to the playoffs. It’s gonna be up to these guys ultimately, how well they want to play.”