Football coach Jones out at Isabella

Published 9:50 pm Friday, March 12, 2010

Lanny Jones has resigned as football coach and athletic director at Isabella, effective at the end of the school year.

School principal Ricky Porter asked Jones to resign, but Porter declined to talk about what led to the decision.

Jones said the reason he was given was the “animosity” between the coach and the school’s booster club. Jones said the football program this past season operated at a loss of money for the first time since he had been there, partly because the booster club had failed to provide money Jones said he had been led to believe was forthcoming.

Porter said he alone made the decision to ask Jones to relinquish his duties.

Jones, who is tenured, said he could continue to teach at Isabella but will not do so and instead will look for employment elsewhere.

Jones said Isabella athletes were surprised to learn the news.

“It was kind of a surprise for everybody,” Jones said. “They’re confused. They think like I do that everything was going in a positive way.

“I told them not to be negative toward the school and work hard for whoever comes in.”

Who will come in hasn’t been decided. Porter said he hopes to post the position after the Board of Education’s April 20 meeting.

“We will post a teaching job that we hope can also be a football coach,” Porter said.

The board accepted Jones’ resignation at its March 9 meeting.

Jones first arrived at the school in 2006, served as an assistant football coach under Floyd Graham for one season, and then was promoted to head coach.

In his first season as head coach, Isabella snapped a 23-game losing streak and went on to win five games. Jones was named The Clanton Advertiser’s Coach of the Year.

The Mustangs went 8-4 in 2008, but had their worst season of Jones’ tenure in 2009, finishing with a 2-8 mark.

In his time at Isabella, Jones also coached baseball, boys basketball, girls basketball, and track and field.

Jones is currently coaching track and said he will finish out the season.

“I’m not mad at anybody,” Jones said. “I just thought, with everything, all the time that I had put in, I think I was in the position to leave on my own terms.”