Balmorhea football coach with 175 victories honored at AT&T Stadium
In a touching, well-deserved moment for a West Texas football legend, Robert Vance Jones, who has amassed more than 175 victories and four state titles over 51 years as a high school coach, was honored at AT&T Park in Arlington on Wednesday, Dec. 14.
At the Football State Championships taking place from Dec. 14-17 at AT&T Park, the Texas football community recognized Jones from midfield for being named the 2020-21 National Coach of the Year. Jones was among 23 coaches involved in various sports throughout the nation selected as a Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations Coaches’ Association.
Last year, Jones led Balmorhea High to its first state championship by defeating Richland Springs 74-38 in the University Interscholastic League (UIL) Conference 1A Six-Man Division 2 State Championship. The win made Jones the third coach in UIL history to win state championships at three different schools, joining Pete Shotwell and Terry Cron, according to the NFHS. He has four state championships to his name, including Sanderson High in 1976 and Garden City High in 2009 and 2010.
He was named the Texas Six-Man Division 2 Coach of the Year in 2020, and also earned Texas Six-Man Division 1 Coach of the Year during his title run with Garden City.
In 2020, the Texas Six-Man Coaches Association inducted Jones into its hall of fame.
Balmorhea ISD posted video of the ceremony on social media, eliciting applause from members of his community and those who have dared face him on the gridiron.
“I remember coaching against him – one of the best ever,” said Timothy Nichols.
Anthony Fleener added that there was “no one more deserving” than Coach Jones.
“Proud to have been coached by this man,” said Isaiah Mendoza.