Phil Jones enters his fifth season as head coach of the Shorter College football program. In 2008, Jones helped Shorter capture its first-ever Mid-South Conference Western Division crown, guiding the Hawks to a program-best nine wins, a berth in the NAIA National Playoffs and a No. 11 ranking in the final NAIA poll. For his work, Jones garnered a wealth of awards including Mid-South West Coach of the Year and AFCA Region I Coach of the Year.
Jones was also honored as the 2008 Fellowship of Christian Athletes National Coach of the Year, joining an elite class of honorees such as Tommy Tuberville, Tommy Bowden and Sylvester Croom.
In four seasons at the helm, Jones has transformed Shorter football into a national power while maintaining the program's vision for consistent excellence both on and off the field.
The impressive combination of academic and athletic success that defines Shorter football was epitomized in 2008; last season, Shorter boasted six NAIA All-American Scholar-Athletes in addition to the Mid-South Western Division Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year.
Under Jones' leadership, the Hawks have enjoyed three consecutive seasons of at least seven wins, placed 42 athletes on the Mid-South All-Conference teams, had 46 Academic All-Conference performers and produced three conference Players of the Year.
Jones came to Shorter in 2005 from NCAA Division I-AA (now FCS) Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C. He served as assistant head coach for the Bulldogs, who won back-to-back Big South Conference championships during his tenure.
Prior to Gardner-Webb, Jones served as an assistant coach at Southern Methodist University and coached under Jim Donnan at the University of Georgia from 1997-2001. Jones held several positions at UGA including defensive end coach, special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach. During Jones' stint in Athens, the Bulldogs rolled to four straight bowl victories and compiled a record of 35-13.
In addition to his collegiate coaching success, Jones coached Georgia high school football for 29 years beginning in 1968 at Northside High School in Warner Robbins. Jones earned his first head coaching position in 1973 at Jeff Davis High School in Hazelhurst, Ga. From 1975-1979, Jones served as head football coach and athletic director at Fitzgerald High School.
Jones moved on to Dooly County High School from 1980-1984 where he served as football coach and athletic director as well, leading the football team to 31-7 overall record. In 1983, Jones was named AA Coach of the Year and Macon Telegraph Middle Georgia Coach of the Year.
From 1984-1997, Jones served as head football coach at Winder-Barrow High School, leading his teams to the playoffs eight times and compiling an 81-58-2 record during his tenure. In 1993, Winder-Barrow advanced to the State AAA Semifinals, earning Jones the honor of 1993 AAA Coach of the Year. Jones, who served on the Georgia High School Association Executive Committee for three terms and as the organization's chairman from 1993-1995, was named AAA Athletic Director of the Year by the Georgia Athletic Directors Association in 1994.
A native of Thomaston, Ga., Jones graduated from Mercer University in 1968. He and his wife, Janie, have two children and five grandchildren.
"Phil Jones holds a great knowledge of Georgia and this region of the country and has a tremendous background with high school coaches in the state. Phil has a good feel for what is required to develop young men and is an outstanding coach." - Jim Donnan, former UGA head coach
"Being a successful coach all goes back to leadership, not necessarily from the standpoint of teaching technique or skill, but more in terms of good moral character. That's the kind of leadership that defines people like Coach Jones. Integrity is the real cornerstone. Shorter has been a great place for Phil, and he's been amazing for the community and for the lives he's inevitably touched." - Vince Dooley, legendary UGA head coach and athletic director