Randy Jones is stepping down as West Point’s varsity boys basketball coach.
Jones, who spent 10 seasons leading the program, cited health reasons for his decision.
The longtime Warrior was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2019 and said he’s expecting to undergo another surgery in the coming weeks.
“I just can’t do it anymore,” Jones said. “They need someone more physically able to do it than I am. I’m hoping that I can still come back and have the energy to teach, because that's my first responsibility. It’s just unfair to the kids when I can’t give them 100 percent physically, and I’m asking them to do the same thing for me on the basketball court.”
Jones captured a county title (2012) and an area title (2015) during his tenure with the Warriors, which also included a trio of county and area runner-up finishes.
“A coach doesn’t accomplish anything without great players,” he said. “And I had a lot of them. I just hope people say about my kids that they played hard and gave it all they had, whether as a favorite or an underdog. My goal was that my kids gave it everything on the floor.”
Jones said he plans to fish, hunt, golf, and take care of his farm in lieu of coaching basketball.
He will, however, always cherish his time on the bench as West Point’s coach.
“I’m going to miss the kids and the relationships and working with them,” he said. “And I’ll miss seeing them grow as players and as people. I love what I did, and I wouldn’t change anything that I’ve done."
Principal Heith Yearwood lauded Jones’ contributions to the program.
“Coach Jones has been a valuable guy for our school,” he said. “He did a great job with the team. We appreciate what he’s done. The love the kids have shown over the years with his health issues has been amazing. That tells you how much he’s loved at West Point. To see him coach through his treatment (in 2019-20) — it tells you how much the kids and school mean to him. He’s also one of the best math teachers we have, and we’re thankful for him.”
Yearwood said he’s hoping to fill the vacancy in the next week or two.