Thurmon Jones

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Thurmon Jones
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1918-04-06)April 6, 1918
Wilson, Oklahoma
Died January 16, 1988(1988-01-16) (aged 69)
Sweetwater, Texas
Playing career
1938-1940 Abilene Christian
1941-1942 Brooklyn Dodgers
Position(s) RB / DB
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1943 Electra HS
1944-1946 Wichita Falls HS
1947 Midwestern State
1948 Texas A&M (Asst.)
1952-1955 Midland HS
1956-1958 Highland Park HS
1962 Washington (Asst.)
1963-1966 Highland Park HS

Thurmon Lee “Tugboat” Jones (April 6, 1918 – January 16, 1988) is a former American football player and coach. For more than 20 years he coached high school football in the state of Texas.

A native of Wilson, Oklahoma, Jones attended Abilene Christian University, where he played running back and defensive back. In 1941 he joined the NFL's Brooklyn Dodgers, but did not see much playing time and eventually finished his playing career after the 1942 NFL season; instead he pursued a coaching career.

In 1943 he became head coach at Electra, a small community near Wichita Falls, Texas. Under his guidance, Electra was able to shut down Wichita Falls, one of the state's powerhouses at the time, with an obviously inferior team.[1] So in 1944, when Wichita Falls coach Ted Jeffries left the school for Lamar College, Jones was hired as his successor. In 1945, Jones guided Wichita Falls into the state semifinals, where they faced Rusty Russell's Highland Park squad from Dallas, led by Doak Walker and Bobby Layne. Wichita Falls had little chance and lost 18–0.

Jones was briefly head coach at Midwestern State University in 1947[2] and the following year, served as an assistant coach at Texas A&M University,[3] but returned to the high school level to coach at Midland High School in 1949. Four seasons later, Jones moved to Dallas, taking over at Highland Park, where he rewarded the boosters by producing a state championship in 1957. That year's Highland Park team also stopped Abilene High's 49-game winning streak. Jones left in 1959, but returned to Highland Park in 1963. He ultimately left Dallas in 1967. Jones also coached at the University of Washington.[4]

  • According to his family, Jones's name was often misspelled in the press. The correct spelling is "Thurmon."


  1. ^ Cashion, Ty (1998). Pigskin Pulpit: A Social History of Texas High School Football Coaches. Austin: Texas State Historical Association. p. 170. ISBN 0-87611-168-1. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Jones Quits Texas A. and M". The New York Times. 1948-07-13. 
  4. ^ "Service held for Ex-Scots-Coach". The Dallas Morning News. 1988-01-20.