Football: Jones tabbed as Westlake’s next defensive coordinator
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 | | 2
Jason Jones embraced the challenges of intimately knowing the ins and outs of the Westlake defense over the past four years.
The intricate knowledge Jones worked diligently to absorb in his time with the Chaparral defense earned the young coach his first big gig as he was recently named the new Westlake defensive coordinator.
Jones will step into the role after coaching both the secondary and outside linebackers – along with previous head coaching duties at the freshman and junior varsity levels – which is what pushed him ahead of the rest of the field.
The 29-year-old takes over after former defensive coordinator Jeff Joseph relinquished his spot to join the Texas A&M University staff following the Chaps 2012 run to the state semifinals.
“It’s obviously very humbling, being in such an important part of such an awesome program,” Jones said. “It’s a huge opportunity, a huge honor to be trusted with such responsibility.”
A football lifer as the son of longtime and now retired coach Glen Jones, Jason graduated from Mary-Hardin Simmons – where Allman also graduated.
He played football, basketball, track and did power lifting in high school. He went on to play strong safety at Hardin-Simmons before becoming a student coach working with the secondary. After graduating, he coached for two years at Smithville before landing on the Chaps staff in Allman’s first year at Westlake.
“I realized at a pretty early age I wasn’t going to get to play after college,” Jones said. “[Allman’s] name is still gold around that university.”
Allman instantly received numerous resumes and interested phone calls in joining his staff when he took over the football program, but Jones demeanor stood out immediately.
“What impressed me about Jason is I’m sure he had sent email and text messages and left voice messages as well,” said Allman, who knew Glen for some time prior, “and wasn’t getting return call. He had enough sense about him and motivation to be here that he just walked in one day, had his tie on, and he was ready to interview.
“Instead of waiting and hoping for something good to happen he drove over here from Smithville. He walked in here and made it happen, that was a good sign right off the bat.”
Jones, who will be entering his seventh season coaching, originally landed a spot at West Ridge Middle School because the high school no longer had openings for coaching and teaching positions.
Within a week, a coach left the Chaps staff, and a spot opened up. Jones earned an instant promotion and joined the high schools staff without actually ever starting at the middle school.
“He was going to do what he could to make that happen and go the extra step, and that’s exactly how he’s worked since he’s been here.” Allman said. “Our kids love him.”
He (Allman) hired me that day, and I’ve been very blessed to be in such a special place,” Jones said.
Allman knew he’d most likely stay in house to hire the position. In fact, every defensive coordinator he has hired was a first-timer.
“Because his first two years he was working with the secondary then in ‘11 and ‘12 with the outside linebackers that helped him get a feel for the whole defense and how everything worked,” Allman said. “There’s no experience like firsthand experience.”
Jones, who married wife Kiley in the summer of 2012, said that mentality is a boost inside the program and for the rest of the staff, this year and in year’s prior.
“What he has established here is very, very awesome,” Jones said. “That he entrusts us by promoting us through the ranks, it’s a boost to our staff knowing you do your job and do a good job of it, you can move up.”
The senior class going into the 2013 season will be familiar with Jones, who coached them as freshman through their current junior year.
The linebackers in Westlake’s defense play pivotal, diverse roles, which is why Allman believes Jones has all the right tools and knowledge to man the defense toward a title next season.
“I felt the last couple of years since he took over the outside linebackers, he’s made us better,” Allman said. “He has added a great deal to our defense. His thoughts and teaching methods, he’s one with them (the players). He’s made us better each year. He’s prepared, but deserving as well.”
Even before he had thoughts of coming to Westlake, Jones kept up with the Chaps year after year as the Chaps perennially garner state-wide attention as a contender, something he plans to continue going forward.
“Learning our defense from the back to the forward has been great and it gives you a good understanding of how all the moving pieces fit,” Jones said. “Westlake is one of those perennial names you hear about, and you always check to see how Westlake did.”
The continuity of the program and the defense, which will not change schematically, will be a big boost to the Chaps chances in 2013.
“The benefit of Coach Allman moving me is up is the continuity,” Jones said. “This will be going into our fifth season. Our kids are very familiar with our schemes and terminology.”
Jones has worked with several well-respected defensive minds now, starting with Matt Anastasio, who was defensive coordinator at Westlake before moving on to Gregory-Portland in February 2011.
“That continuity goes a long way with our kids,” Jones said. “This group we’re gonna have started running our schemes in seventh grade now, and you can’t discount how important that is.”
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