“Coach Richard ‘Birddog’ Jones was the epitome of what a coach, father and teacher should be.” Those were the words spoken by Anthony Pennington, Principal of Lynn Camp Schools, during the dedication of the school’s gymnasium on Tuesday, April 23.
Jones coached several teams and touched the lives of many students during his time at Lynn Camp, but was best known for his time as head coach of the high school girls basketball team. Jones won over 300 games, including three district titles.
Kelly Sprinkles, Superintendent of Knox County Schools, had this to say about Jones, “He always enjoyed life and living it to the fullest. It didn’t matter who you were, he always had a helping hand.”
His reputation was second-to-none,” he added
Jones coached for over 30 years and invested a lot of hard-work and dedication into the sport that he loved, most of which took place in the gymnasium now known as the Richard “Birddog” Jones Gymnasium.
“It’s definitely an honor and very well deserved,” Jones’ son, Andrew Jones said. “It’s nice to know that it will always be his gym.”
Andrew went on to talk about the memories that he and his dad shared in the gym.
“I have a lot of great memories in this gym,” he said. “I was the first one to play in this gym when it was built and he was right there beside me. When I walk in here I feel at home.”
Although Andrew admitted that his dad, “was never one to want the attention”, he feels he would have been honored with the dedication.
“He lived and breathed Lynn Camp,” Andrew said. “He was hardly ever at home, this was his home.”
Jones lost his battle with cancer in January, but his memory will live on forever.