Jones named head coach at Lumpkin Co.

The lure of the Lumpkin County football program played a major part in Tommy Jones' decision, but so did the other perks, like living in the mountains.

Jones, a Brookwood graduate and longtime Gwinnett assistant coach, was approved as the head football coach at Lumpkin last week and began the process of moving to Dahlonega on Thursday, when he put his house in Watkinsville on the market.

"I'm excited about living up there," said Jones, whose has two young daughters with his wife Cory. "It's beautiful up there. I think it's going to be a great place to live and raise a family."

The 33-year-old was the South Gwinnett offensive coordinator this past season under first-year Comet head coach John Small. He also coached for three seasons at Oconee County and two at Dacula, coaching the offensive line both places, prior to joining Small's staff.

He also coached tight ends for two seasons at Furman, where he was a three-year starter on the offensive line, and later worked for a Christian ministry at Western Carolina University before focusing on high school coaching.

"I'm very excited for (Jones)," Small said. "He's very deserving. He's done a great job for us. He's a great motivator of kids, a great teacher of the game of football and he's great in the classroom."

Jones followed his coaching mentor - his father, Tom Jones - into the profession. Tom Jones has coached football for 37 years, the past 19 as Brookwood's offensive line coach.

His son also specialized in offensive line play, but Tommy Jones will take on a different role as a first-time head coach.

"I have had a lifelong dream and aspiration of being a head coach," Jones said. "Obviously you look for the right situation to do that and I feel like (Lumpkin County) is the right situation. There are a lot of good resources there. You have the support of the community, the support of the administration and you have good, hard-working kids."

Jones replaces George Hoblitzell, who had several successful seasons at Lumpkin before slipping to 2-8 this past season.

Lumpkin moves up to Class AAA for 2006-2007 and 2007-2008, so it will compete in Region 7-AAA with a number of Hall County schools.