Roland Jones Jr. – Carrying on the Brantley High School football legacy 

Published 3:31 pm Friday, August 4, 2023

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

In the heart of Brantley there exists a football program that has become synonymous with success and dedication. At the helm of this storied team is Roland Jones Jr., a man whose life is intrinsically intertwined with the Brantley High School football legacy. 

Brantley Principal Marcus Taylor said Jones is an outstanding coach and athletic director.

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“Coach Roland does a great job as our Athletic Director,” Taylor said. “He’s incredibly organized and stays on top of all the athletic events that happen at Brantley school. He has great leadership skills and sets a great example for his players. He’s hard working and we are thankful to have him here at Brantley!” 

With a coaching career spanning over three decades, Jones’s passion for the game and his commitment to the growth of young athletes have solidified his significant role in the Bulldog tradition. Jones’s journey in football began long before he stepped onto the field as a player or coach. He grew up on the sidelines and said his father, Roland Jones, Sr., was without a doubt, the biggest influence on his life. 

“Up until his retirement, my father had been a coach all my life and I was always with him at the school,” Jones said. “He definitely influenced me the most.”

Jones explained that his father was an assistant football coach at Brantley for several years. Once Jones was old enough to help, his father became the head coach. “Coaching with him I learned so much about life and the way to treat people and to always have discipline,” Jones said. “We won the state championship in 1993 and 1998. He told me and the players before the 1998 season that it was his last year. We were fortunate enough to win the State Championship that year.”

A Brantley alumnus himself, Jones graduated in 1986. After receiving a golf scholarship, he attended Lurleen B. Wallace Community College and later transferred to Troy University where he played on the golf team for two years. Jones’s dedication to sports and education inspired him to earn a bachelor’s degree in social science from Troy, setting the stage for a diverse and successful career.

Jones returned to Brantley after college and assumed multiple roles within the school’s athletic department. He joined the football coaching staff in 1990, serving as the offensive coordinator under the guidance of his father. Jones said the experience of coaching alongside his father left an indelible impact on his life, instilling in him essential values of discipline, respect, and the significance of treating people right, both on and off the field.

According to Jones, the ways in which he tries to be like his father are immeasurable. 

“It would take a book, but if I had to pick a few it would always stay calm, have discipline even when it hurts, treat all of the kids the same and love each and every one of them the same, try to teach the kids to be great people once they leave Brantley and go out into society, and to always be the best father, husband, dad and person you can be.”

Over the years, Jones took his passion for coaching to various institutions, including Ariton School, Brantley, and Crenshaw Christian Academy (CCA), where he served as the head football coach.

“After my father retired, David Lowery was hired – a great guy and a great football coach,” Jones said. “I helped David for several years before I took the head football coach position at CCA. That was a great experience for me to be in charge.”

Jones became the headmaster at CCA and after a few Years, was hired by the Crenshaw County Board of Education to head up the alternative school for the County. Former Brantley player, Ashley Kilcrease, asked Jones to return to Brantley.

“I took the opportunity to assist him a few years before he left to be a principal in Andalusia,” Jones said. “I was approached about taking over as the Head Coach at Brantley and the rest is history.”

In 2013, the legacy came full circle as Roland Jones Jr. returned to Brantley High School, this time as the head football coach. As a man who grew up on the sidelines at the school, learning from his father, Jones now aims his influence on the players, an influence which extends beyond the game, and works to instill in them life skills and values that will serve them well beyond the gridiron.