Coach Phil Jones’ passing is truly a loss for both Shorter University and our state. Coach Jones was an amazing gentleman.
Undertaking a brand-new football program at Shorter University in 2004, I remember that season vividly for a lot of reasons. The practices and recruiting and scrimmaging and purchasing uniforms, deciding on a field in which to play, buying cleats, all happened at least a year before the very first home game. But, when Coach Jones led the Shorter University Hawks onto the field at Barron Stadium for the very first time, it was an emotional moment for everyone.
To reach that point, everything that went into making it happen depended on a lot of folks, but Coach Jones was the catalyst and glue. My brother, Tony Lundy, was privileged to be on that very first coaching staff as offensive coordinator. He loved Coach Jones. It was through him that I got to know Coach Jones and his wife, Gloria, and all the behind-the-scenes good deeds they both did every day. From enthusiastic involvement in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, to the many civic club speeches and countless hours of helping athletes make decisions on their lives, his was a model of what a coach should be.
I felt compelled to send this to all friends of Shorter University to offer my sincere condolences. What an amazing gentleman and an amazing life! We will all miss his kind influence and gentle leadership skills. That his teams posted many winning seasons is nothing compared to the impact he had on so many lives. God bless you Coach Jones and thanks for being a good friend to all of us.