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When it comes to high school district sports rivalries there are but a few that may be hotter than the Estill Engineers and Powell Pirates obsession. That rivalry just got a lot more intense, at least on the gridiron.
Powell County High School announced last Tuesday that they had hired a familiar name as their new Head Football Coach. Mike Jones will take over the helm of the Pirate ship this season.
Jones is a well known in the gridiron wars in the mountains. He has previously coached at Hazard and his Estill County, where he also played his high school football.
After graduating from Estill, Jones played at Union College from 1986-1989, where he was an All Mid-South Conference receiver and kick returner. In 2014 His collegiate career and honors earned him induction into the Union College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Jones began his coaching career at Union as a graduate assistant in 1990 and 1991. From there he became an assistant coach at Hazard in 1992. Jones became the Bulldogs head coach for two seasons, 1993 and 1994 seasons. He came back as an assistant coach from1997-2000.
His hometown Engineers were looking for a coach in 2001 and Jones took the job. That head coaching job would last for 18 years. Under the direction of Jones the Engineers were always considered a district threat and a team to be reckoned with.
At the end of the 2018 season Jones retired, but he did not completely get away from the sport he loves. Jones was an assistant for Montgomery County last season.
“I learned a few new things there and can’t wait to use some of those,” Jones stated in a video interview with Bluegrass Sports Nation. When asked about his decision to take the Powell job Jones put it quite simply, “I missed the relationships and working with the kids.”
“We're very excited to be able to bring Coach Jones on board to lead our Pirate football program. He's a proven winner and a ‘players first’ coach,” Powell Athletic Director Doug Brewer stated in a press release. “Coach Jones coached at Estill County for 18 years before retiring. He spent last year as an assistant at Montgomery Co. but is now ready to return to the sidelines as our coach.”
Jones replaces Josh Kincaid, who resigned earlier this year to spend more time with his family, after two years as the Pirates head coach.
Under the current Covid-19 pandemic, there are some questions as to if there will be a high school football season or if it will be postponed, maybe even shortened. Regardless, when the Pirates hit the gridiron Coach Jones looks forward to another year with his new “Boys of Fall.”
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