Anthony Jones will enter his 14th season as a head coach and the 12th as the leader of the AAMU Bulldog football program.
In 2006, Jones led the Bulldogs to their first SWAC title and tied the school record with nine victories. The Bulldogs posted back-to-back nine-win seasons in 2005 and 2006. The 2006 SWAC Coach of the year has led A&M to five SWAC title games in 10 seasons and enters the 2012 campaign with a 97-62 career record.
With his 79-49 record while at Alabama A&M, Jones ranks second among all coaches in wins Alabama A&M history. His
.620 winning percentage stands four points behind the legendary A&M coach Louis Crews, who won 64 percent of his games over 16 years leading the Bulldogs. Jones’ 79 wins at A&M rank second all-time behind Crews, who won 93 games at A&M. In 2005, Jones led the Bulldogs to their second SWAC East Championship under his reign, and a 9-3 record. The nine wins also earned Jones a milestone victory in the regular season finale, a 31-16 win at Prairie View served as the 50th win in Jones’ career.
The 2012 season saw the Jones squad start 6-0 for the first time during his 12 year career on “The Hill.” The 6-0 start was the first for AAMU since the 1966 team that was lead by Louis Crews. That year also saw the Bulldogs ranked as the 25th team in the football championship Subdivision. A&M also was ranked second for seven weeks in all three HBCU polls. The Maroon & White would unfortunately finish 6-4 with losses to Alcorn State during homecoming and the Magic City Classic.
After the Bulldogs posted tremendous 8-4 records in each of his first two seasons in 2002 and 2003, the team from the Rocket City capped off another outstanding season in 2004 with a 7-4 mark. With a 21-7 victory in the Magic City Classic Jones is 7-1 in his eight seasons against in-state rival Alabama State. The 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009 teams also captured the John Merritt Classic title, defeating Tennessee State in the season-opener. Alabama A&M remains the only visiting team to have beaten Tennessee State in the John Merritt Classic’s history.
Twice, Jones has led A&M to six-game winning streaks in his tenure. After two early losses in 2002, Jones’ Bulldogs won six straight and eight of nine to finish the regular season. The Bulldogs captured the SWAC East (6-1). This led to A&M’s second berth in the SWAC championship in three years. In 2005, after a disappointing Homecoming loss to Texas Southern, the Bulldogs regrouped and won six straight games to finish the regular season en route to another SWAC East title and a berth in the SWAC Championship game. The 2009 season saw three two game win streaks and victories over Jackson State (13-5) and Mississippi Valley (17-12) in the final two contests of the season to earn Jones his fourth SWAC East championship and title game appearance where the Maroon & White fell 24-30 to Prairie View A&M. The next season Jones took his (3-8) 2010 squad and changed them into the 2011 Eastern Division champions advancing to their fifth conference championship contest. That year also marked seven straight victories for the Bulldogs after starting the season 0-2. The streak, noted as a first in Jones’ history, also included three television appearances, his 90th career victory and his eighth career Magic City Classic victory. Jones was named SWAC Coach of the Year by CollegeSportsMadness.com.
Jones arrived at Alabama A&M from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, where he spent four years. After serving as the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach in his first year with the Maroon Tigers, he was promoted to head coach in 1999. After going 2-8 in his first season, Jones led the Tigers to the first back-to-back eight-win seasons in school history. He was named SIAC Coach of the year both times. The 2000 campaign (8-3) qualified him and the Tigers as the second-most improved team in NCAA Division II.
Following his second consecutive eight-win season (8-2), Jones was one of three finalists for the 2001 Eddie Robinson Coach of the year Award along with Doug Williams (Grambling State) and Rick Comegy (Tuskegee). He was a finalist again in 2002, his inaugural season at AAMU when he became just the second coach in AAMU history to win the Magic City Classic and Homecoming in his first year as head coach (Ray Bonner in 1992). He was named to the Eddie Robinson Coach of the year Award in 2011 for the work he did during his 10th season.
Jones is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. He played college football at Wichita State University for Willie Jeffries, where he earned several honors as a tight end, including the Ben Hustle Award (1981), and All-Missouri Valley Conference (1983). Following his senior season with the Shockers, Jones went on to play for the Redskins in the National Football League, where he helped Washington win the 1987 Super Bowl. The Redskins traded him to the San Diego Chargers during the 1988 season, but Jones was forced to retire after suffering a knee injury before the next season.
In 1991 Jones joined the staff at Western Maryland College in Westminster, Maryland, where he served as the receivers/tight ends coach. Jones moved to South Carolina State University in 1992, where he rejoined his mentor, Willie Jeffries, as a defensive assistant. In 1993, he was promoted to offensive coordinator at SCSU, a position that he held until his departure for Morehouse in 1998. In 1994, SCSU won the MEAC title and earned the Black College National Champions following a win over Grambling at the Heritage Bowl.
Jones and his wife, Valerie, have two sons, Drew and Julian.