Jones made 1982 special for Bearcats

Published 9:55 am Friday, February 24, 2012

Coach Ralph Jones

Editors Note: This feature on Ralph Jones is part of a series on the four outstanding sports figures who will be inducted into the Decatur County Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 3, at Bainbridge College’s Charles H. Kirbo Regional Center.

Coach Ralph Jones led the Bainbridge High School Bearcats to the 1982 State Class AAA football championship, and was named Superintendent of the Year by the Georgia Association of Educators in 2009.

This season, he and his 1982 players and coaching staff will celebrate the 30th anniversary of their state championship. That title run ended with a thrilling 7-6 championship game victory over the Gainesville High School Red Elephants on a rain soaked City Park Stadium turf in Gainesville.

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Jones also led his alma mater, Cairo High School, to the 1990 State Class AAA football championship. He later served as the school’s athlletic director, and was inducted into the Grady County Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. He played with Cairo and the Florida State University Seminoles.

He was Georgia’s high school football coach of the year with Bainbridge in 1982, and Cairo in 1990 and 1994. Jones has also been very active in the community. He has worked with the American Cancer Society and their annual Relay For Life, the Bainbridge High School Air Force Junior ROTC Toys For Tots program, the United Way, the American Red Cross, the Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce, the Bainridge-Decatur County Humane Society and the United Way and Keep America Beautiful campaigns.

Jones, who has been an educator for 36 years, says his education philosophy can be summed up in six words, “together we can make a difference.”