Shaw has hired N.C. Central assistant football coach Adrian Jones to lead its football program, Athletic Director Alfonza Carter announced Thursday morning.
Jones becomes the 17th football coach in Shaw’s history.
“While we were going through the process his name kept coming up and kept coming up,” Carter said. “We did our vetting, and all of the coaches were saying he’s the guy. He’s ready to be the head coach. Then I looked at his (resume) and met with him and I was very very impressed.”
Shaw will be looking for Jones to help turn around its program after two straight losing seasons. Shaw finished with a 1-9 record in 2015, and decided to part ways with its previous coach Robert Massey in December.
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Jones, 42, has served two different stints as an assistant at N.C. Central. He was an outside linebackers and defensive backs coach from 2003-2006. And most recently he was N.C. Central’s running backs coach from 2014-2016.
Jones was also head coach of Southern Durham High School from 2007-2013 and led them to a state championship title in his final year.
Alumni of the school, Jones’ family and friends and football players on the team sat in the crowd and watched their new coach be named as the program’s leader. They asked him questions in a question and answer session.
I’m not here to win seven or eight games. I’m here to win championships
New Shaw football coach Adrian Jones
Many of the questions ranged from what his goals were for the program, to how he would handle the alumni if he lost, and what was the plan for the team.
“We’re going to win championships,” Jones said. “I’m not here to win seven or eight games. I’m here to win championships. That’s what keeps your job.”
Jones said he felt like Shaw was just the right fit for him. He thanked his family and friends and N.C. Central Jerry Mack for his tutelage.
“It was a great experience,” Jones said. “Coach Mack is a grinder and he taught how to get in there and work hard. And that’s the only way you can win. You go in and work hard and have a vision. I definitely have a vision to bring back Shaw University a championship.”
Jones said not only does he want to win, but he wants to groom student-athletes as men.
“Being able to go out into the community and go out in the real world and have great jobs and give back what they’ve learned from me,” he said.
While Jones doesn’t have much experience as head coach at the collegiate level, N.C. Central coach Jerry Mack said Jones is ready for the challenge. Mack said Jones had all the attributes necessary to be a head coach at the collegiate level before he came to N.C. Central. He said he can envision Jones winning often and early.
“One thing I hope he got from our program is organization is how to run a program from top to bottom,” Mack said. “I think he’s going to take that same philosophy and vision to (Shaw’s) program to win immediately.”
“I think they got the right man for the job,” he added. “He’s passionate about the game of football and more than anything he cares about those young men.”
After the press conference, Shaw football players introduced themselves to Jones. He asked them what position they played and gave them his number. Then he gathered a group of the players and told them he wanted to have a team meeting soon, although he didn’t know where the players usually meet for meetings.
“I’m happy to be y’all’s coach and we’re going to win some championships,” he told them.