When Robert Jones started his coaching career, he wanted to someday make his way back to Bay City.
When the opportunity presented itself to come back as the leader of football program, the former Blackcat jumped at the chance.
“I have always kept my eye on the position, so as soon as it became available my phone started blowing up,” Jones said. “I always wanted to come and be the head football coach, so I patiently waited all these years.”
Jones, 39, officially became the head football coach after unanimous approval by the Bay City ISD Board of Trustees during their regular meeting May 18.
“My first reaction was to thank God for giving me this opportunity because I know what I have to offer to the kids, and this community that has done so much for me growing up,” Jones said. “To come back 20 years later is awesome. I want to be able to instill some of the morals and pride I have carried with me throughout my coaching career.”
The 2000 Bay City High School graduate said he applied for the position when it became available and went through a couple of rounds of interviews with Bay City ISD Superintendent Marshall Scott III before his former high school coach, Warren Trahan, became the athletic director.
“After he got hired on, he contacted me and we talked,” Jones said. “I knew it was going to be official after our talk.”
Jones was part of Trahan’s 1998 Blackcat Class 4A Division I state final team that lost to Grapevine. He went on to play at and graduate from Texas A&M Kingsville.
He said after his playing career was over, he knew he wanted to get into coaching.
“I love giving back to the kids and also being a role model to them,” he said.
He went on to be an assistant coach at Angleton High School for six years before he went on to be an assistant football coach and head track coach at Brazosport High School for the last seven years.
Bay City ISD Athletic Director Warren Trahan did several interviews for the head football coaching job, but he said he knew Jones was the one for the job.
“He played for me. And we’re trying bring back ‘Blackcat Fight Never Dies’. He knows what that’s all about and displays some of that,” Trahan said. “I think he’s going to do us a good job.”
Trahan said he won’t have to do a lot of mentoring with his new head coach.
“I may have to do some, but he knows I’m giving him the reins. He knows what he’s doing and everything I’ve seen so far I’m very happy with it,” Trahan said.
Jones said he has never forgotten what Trahan and his coaching staff instilled in him as a player.
“Playing for Coach Trahan was awesome,” Jones said. “The guys on his staff were committed to Bay City and had unbelievable pride and he instilled that ‘Blackcat Fight Never Dies” attitude in me that stuck for life that whenever things got rough, I would just say that to myself.”
Jones inherits a football program that did not win a game last season and went 4-7 the season before. He said getting more involved in the community is the key to help turning things around.
“I’m big on building relationships with the kids and getting to know them outside of athletics and school so they know they can trust me and my coaching staff to be there for them,” Jones said. Another thing I’m going to get as many kids excited about coming out for football because I’ve also seen over the years the numbers have dropped. So, that’s going to be one of my main goals - strength in numbers.”
One of the things Jones wants to implement is the Blackcat Dad Program to pair up kids with mentors in the community that are willing to check on them throughout the week and talk about life, academics, athletic and be involved in their lives.
“Also, I plan on getting our kids involved in a lot of community services to learn the purpose of serving others,” Jones said, “because that’s how great teams are formed by loving each other and serving each other.”