MC Dedicates Gold Dome Playing Court in Honor of Coach Mike Jones
August 25, 2008Mississippi College President Lee G. Royce has announced that current renovations to A. E. Wood Coliseum will include a new playing surface that will be named in honor of Hall of Fame basketball coach Mike Jones.
"Coach Jones is so well-respected in our community and has done so much for Mississippi College, it was appropriate to bestow this honor upon him", said Dr. Royce. "He is almost an iconic figure for our college and he has represented us with such dignity for two decades. I'm proud for him and thankful we were able to make this happen."
Renovations to the "Golden Dome" have been made possible by the generosity of several friends of MC, including Don Phillips, Joe Robison and Robert Watson.
The dedication ceremony is set for January 10 in the Gold Dome when the Choctaws face Mary Hardin-Baylor. The Lady Choctaws play at 1 p.m. and the Choctaw men's team takes the court at 3 p.m.
"Mike Jones sets the standard for college coaches and athletic directors everywhere through his dedication to the university and his striving for excellence in all its athletic programs", said Don Phillips. "He contributes to the school in so many ways."
"An honor well-deserved", said Joe Robison. "Mike has done all the things necessary to receive such an outstanding accolade. His records speak for themselves including an amazing winning percentage over 75%. His knowledge of the game is second to none and his skills dealing with people are so phenomenal that it's simply hard to say 'no'. Most importantly, his integrity with friends, colleagues, and players sets him apart. I am truly blessed to be able to call Mike a true, time-tested friend."
Robert Watson, owner of Watson Quality Ford, said of Jones, "There could not be a more deserving coach than Coach Jones. Anyone who has met him knows the kind of person he is and people familiar with Mississippi College know how big an impact he's had on the school. I'm proud to help with the court."
One of the people responsible for Coach Jones' arrival to MC twenty years ago was longtime alumni director Doc Quick. Doc was part of the committee responsible for finding a new men's basketball coach and convinced Coach Jones that MC was where he needed to be.
"I was one of the people who recruited him to Mississippi College, and I have to say that was one of my best days of service to MC", said Quick. "He's done so well and naming this court after him is an honor deserved, let me tell you that much. Nothing has been given to Mike, he's earned every bit of it and I'm so proud of him. As long as MC is here, that court will have his name on it. When we're all dead and gone, people will still remember Mike Jones."
Coach Jones spent 16 years as the head coach of the Choctaws compiling a career record of 331-108, good enough to rank second in the nation among active Division III men's basketball coaches. His overall 20-year coaching record stands at 436-180. His record in the "Golden Dome" was 209-27 overall and 113-6 as an NCAA Division III member.
In his final seven seasons at the helm of the Choctaw program, Jones led MC to four American Southwest Conference championships and two appearances in the "Sweet Sixteen" round of the NCAA Championship Tournament.
In addition to a new playing surface, other renovations to A. E. Wood Coliseum this summer have included a new mechanical bleacher system on the floor level seating and new chairback seating on both sides of the court.
The playing surface has been painted with a new design featuring an interlocking MC at halfcourt, NCAA wordmark logos and MIKE JONES COURT painted on opposite sides of the court.