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Excellence Beyond The Basketball Court

Calvin Jones' legacy of coaching excellence and achievement throughout Atlanta extends beyond the basketball court.


One of the nation’s most successful basketball coaching careers in history began right here in Cascade.

After graduating from Tuskegee University in 1958, Calvin Coolidge Jones returned to his high school alma mater, , as the girls’ varsity head basketball coach.

Two years later, with a won-loss record of 33-11, Jones was hired as head boys’ varsity coach at Carver High, a school with no gym in which to practice. Nonetheless, Jones built one of the best basketball programs in a city just beginning to move toward integration.

Along the way, he picked up a couple of nicknames - 'Monk' and 'Coach'- and  established a legacy for himself that continues today.

Jones’ career won-loss record of 886-224 includes an incredibly successful stint at Carver High. With limited resources, Carver won the city’s last black Atlanta city championship in 1965-66. The following year, Carver won the state basketball championship in the newly integrated Georgia High School Association.

In 1967, Jones led Carver to another state championship, a season in which his team averaged 115 points a game. With a 31-1 record, Carver set a school scoring record of 172 points in a game against l.

In 1975, Jones became one of the University of Georgia’s first black coaches, as an assistant to head coach John Guthrie. Jones also recruited for Vince Dooley’s UGA football squad.

Three years later, Jones returned to high school coaching at George High, now named South Atlanta High. In September 1997, a collision with one of his players during practice caused Jones – then in his 70s - to slam, head first, into a wall.

A month later, Jones’ wife, Dr. Sara Jackson Jones, noticed that her husband was sleeping longer and was growing lethargic. After several examinations, Jones underwent four separate brain operations to repair a slow bleeding hematoma, a result of the accident.

After months of recovery, Jones regained enough strength to become a volunteer at the S, where he spent much of his convalescence.

In 2009, the Atlanta Public School System established an annual series of civil rights lectures named in his honor.

Now 86, Jones is a resident at , an assisted living facility.

Highlights Of Calvin C. Jones' Coaching Career

  • Eight city championships
  • Two state championships
  • 10 regional championships
  • Atlanta Tip-Off Club Coach of the Year, 1966
  • Coach of the Year, Georgia Athletic Coaches Association, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1985
  • Distinguished Sports Service Award, Georgia Athletic Coaches Association, 1974
  • Tuskegee University Athletic Hall of Fame, 1974
  • SIAC Sports Hall of Fame, 1998
  • 49 Years of Service Award, Atlanta Public Schools Department of Athletics, 2001
  • 30-year Distinguished Service Award, Atlanta Job Corps Center, 1999
  • Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame, 2009
  • Calvin C. Jones Gymnasium, Carver High School, 2009
  • Georgia Coaches Hall of Fame, 2009
Louis Mayeux March 28, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Glad to hear about Coach Jones. When I was at AJC, I profiled him when he was undergoing rehab at Shepherd Center, one of my best stories at the newspaper. I remember his positive spirit, which inspired others. He is one of the all-time great high school coaches.

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