Remembering Coach Jones

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10 ABC) On the field he was known as Coach Jones but to his closest friends, he was a colleague, a friend, a former college roommate, and they all referred to him as “Jonesy”.

“When I think of Ron,” Glens Falls football head coach Pat Lilac said, “the thing that stands out the most in my mind is that he was a real genuine guy.”

Pat and Mike Lilac have known Jones for years, they attended SUNY Cortland together. “He always had a great enact for staying connected whether it was with his high school buddies, our Cortland buddies,” Mike Lilac said.

From college days to Hoosick Falls, Coach Jones made an impact everywhere and to everyone. Eamonn DeGraaf was one of Coach Jones’ assistants on the football field. He said, “I got here 12 years ago and moved here in August and I started working with the football program right away and he treated me like I was his son.”

Along with his assistant coaches, Jones transformed The Panthers football program. From an 0-9 start when he first got there to eight sectional titles, three regional ones and the one we will never forget, Chris Fleming remembers it well. “I just remember going onto that field and hugging him” the assistant coach said, “and just remember that big smile that Ron had and it was just ear to ear.”

Off the field Fleming said Coach Jones was inspiring his athletes and everyone else around him. “He was really big on using football as a vehicle to teach life lessons and he talked about that often.”

Pat Lilac added, “I think with Ron, it really wasn’t about the X’s and O’s, that was secondary to the relationship he had with his players and with his staff.”

He was more than just a coach Hoosic Valley baseball and basketball head coach Alex Lilac said. “In sports, there’s the cliché next man up but when you lose somebody like Coach there’s really no next man up, it’s a big loss.”