Ed Jones, age 63, of Owingsville, Assistant Principal and Athletic Director at Rowan County Senior High School in Morehead, passed away Saturday, September 21, 2019, at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
Born April 12, 1956, in Lexington, he is the son of Donald R. Jones and the late Shelby Jean Mabry Jones, who preceded him in death on September 25, 2016.
Ed is survived by his wife of 27 years, Mari Davis Jones; his son, Jarred Jones, of Nashville, Tennessee; his father, Donald R. Jones, and his sister, Donna Jones Thomas, both of Morehead; two brothers-in-law, Lance (Becky) Davis and Glenn (Sandy) Davis; six nieces and nephews, Carly Thomas (Leon and Jayden Buchanan), Kyle Hager, Lauren (Jake) Ware, Jordan Davis, Blake (Brandi) Davis, and Grant (Anna) Davis; and one great niece, Ava Faye Ware.
He also leaves behind countless extended family and friends amassed during his lifetime.
Ed enjoyed success in many educational pursuits during his 40 years as a high school teacher, coach, and administrator. Ed graduated from University Breckinridge School in 1974 where he played basketball and baseball; earned his bachelor’s degree in social studies and social work in 1978; and his master’s degree in secondary education and educational leadership in 1980, both from Morehead State University.
Despite receiving a job offer in 1980 to coach girls basketball and baseball at Breckinridge, where he had been an assistant coach, Ed opted to move to Florida. His first head coaching assignment came at Westwood Junior High School. In three years and winning seasons, he was named head coach at Haines City High School in Polk County, Florida. In eight of nine seasons, his teams appeared in the state’s AP top 10 rankings. In 1991, Bath County High School enticed Ed to return to Kentucky to teach and coach. He met and married Mari in 1992, and the couple returned to Haines City High School where Ed was coach, athletic director, teacher, and dean of students. Always seeking new and different experiences, Ed moved in 1995 to Lake Region High, a new school being constructed in Polk County. There, as assistant principal, athletic director, and head basketball coach, he helped build the school from the ground floor and the programs from scratch. In five seasons at Lake Region High, he continued his successful career in coaching—leading the Thunder to two Elite Eight appearances—in spite of coaching against Tracy McGrady and Amar’e Stoudemire, who, after high school, became renowned NBA stars. In Florida, Ed won district and regional titles, as well as the Great Florida Shootout, a prestigious 16-team tournament; was recognized as the youngest head coach hired in Florida; and was named Coach of the Year. Ed advertised the importance of academics and reported that in his 10 years at Haines City, only one player was ineligible. He was involved in civic and community organizations and served as President of the Optimist Club.
Desiring to be closer to home and family, Ed, Mari and their son Jarred moved to Middlesboro in in 2000, where Ed coached basketball, taught, and served as assistant principal and principal. In 2007, he moved to West Jessamine High School where he was principal until 2013.
Ed and his family “returned home” to Rowan County Senior High School in 2015. As always, he sought new challenges and assumed multi-dimensional roles as assistant principal, athletic director, and girls basketball coach. He served as president of the 16th Region Athletic Council and was named the 2018-19 Regional Athletic Director of the Year. His leadership, inspiration, and encouragement will transcend time.
Ed was all about athletics—coaching, watching, or participating. He “bled blue” with the Wildcats, his favorite! He attended Better Life Church.
A celebration of life will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, September 26, 2019, at Rowan County Senior High School with Pastor Mitchell Burch and Pastor Jeff Fannin officiating. Interment will follow in Brown Cemetery.
Pallbearers: Marvin Moore, Jordan Davis, Kyle Hager, Leon Buchanan, Shawn Thacker, Randy Wallace, Sonny Jones, Billy Murray. Honorary Pallbearers: Troy Lee Thomas, Mike Alderman, Larry Sloan, John Maxey, Blake Davis, Jordan Mann, Andrew Zaheri, Mike Ashurst, Allen Ravenscraft, Ronnie Day.
Visitation will be 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Wednesday, September 25, 2019, at Rowan County Senior High School, 499 Viking Drive, Morehead, KY 40351.
In lieu of flowers, contributions are suggested to the Ed Jones Memorial Scholarship Fund at The Citizens Bank, any location.
Arrangements are under the direction of Northcutt & Son Home for Funerals, 400 Fraley Drive, Morehead, KY 40351.