By DAVID GRAVELY, SWT Sports Editor
As the whirlwind of changes continues in the Pulaski County coaching scene, The Southwest Times was made aware this morning that Todd Jones would no longer be the head coach of the Cougar football team.
Jones gathered his team together early today to inform them of the decision prior to releasing the information to the general public. An official press release was sent out prior to noon today, announcing that the head football coach position would be vacant and posted immediately on the school systems website.
Jones graduated from Pulaski County High School as a member of the Class of 1990. He went on to attend Emory and Henry College, where he graduated in 1994.
He took a job as an assistant football coach at Essex High School, and in a short time was named the head coach of that program. He led the Trojans for 13 years, putting together an incredible 135-34 record that included nine district titles, five region titles, three state championship appearances, and finally state championship in 2009. That season ended with a 14-0 record, capped off with the 30-0 win over the Radford Bobcats in the title game.
Jones came back to Pulaski County in the middle of a bad time. The Cougars had just been sanctioned by the VHSL for out of season practice violations, and a part of those sanctions resulted in the loss of practice and scrimmage time leading into the season.
His first season as head coach may be remembered as one of his fondest, as the Cougars finished the season on a three game winning streak, earned a 5-5 record, and came from behind to beat Salem in a 21-13 shocker at Kenneth J. Dobson Stadium.
Expectations were high after that season, but the 2011 season was a disappointing one. Pulaski County finished the regular season with a 1-9 record, only to somehow make the playoffs and lose to Salem in the first round.
The 2012 season showed a little more promise, with the Cougars ending the regular season with a 5-5 record and then soundly thumping Magna Vista in the first round of the playoffs 32-0. A tough 14-17 loss to the Salem Spartans the following week ended the season for Pulaski County.
The 2013 season found Pulaski trying to answer questions again, but by the end of the season they were back in the playoffs with a 4-6 regular season record. A long road trip to Courtland revisited one of the tougher losses in the history of the program, and in the end the Cougars fell 0-15.
Todd Jones ends his time as head coach at Pulaski County with an overall record of 16-28.
The big question now will be “who will take over?”
An announcement is expected in the early parts of next week that will at least temporarily address that very question, and as usual rumors have already begun to fly about who could possibly take that monster on. If things go as they have been the past few months, we can fully expect the administration and school board to look for someone who can have an immediate impact.