Legendary Gulfport track coach gets monumental honor

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It was literally a monumental occasion Saturday morning at the Gulfport High School track. Former Gulfport High track coach Prince Jones was presented with his own piece of history for all the work he did to help the Admirals run towards multiple state championships.

Jones won nine state track and field championships and was inducted into the 2012 Mississippi Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame. Now, everyone that walks onto the Gulfport High School track will have the pleasure of being reminded of the great leader that spent four decades on the coast.

"I guess to be successful you have to have the administration behind you. You have to have the community behind you, and we had a good one," said Jones. "When I go to Jackson, some of those schools have $75 for their entire team. They have lunch meat and cold drinks. We were fortunate enough to have the school take care of us."

The Mississippi Association of Coaches Coach of the Year for boys track in 1987 was also a National Coach of the Year nominee in the early 1990s. In the early 2000s, Jones was Mississippi's Coach of the Year for girls cross country.

"I ran track for Coach Jones in high school. When I returned home, I worked for the Gulfport School District. I felt like he wasn't assigned to me as a mentor, but I felt like he was my mentor," said former Gulfport track athlete Velma Johnson.

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