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Thurmon Lee "Tugboat" Jones (April 6, 1918 – January 16, 1988) was an American football player and coach. For more than 20 years he coached high school football in the state of Texas.

Thurmon Jones
Biographical details
Born(1918-04-06)April 6, 1918
Wilson, Oklahoma
DiedJanuary 16, 1988(1988-01-16) (aged 69)
Sweetwater, Texas
Playing career
1938–1940Abilene Christian
1941–1942Brooklyn Dodgers
Position(s)Running back, defensive back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1943Electra HS (TX)
1944–1946Wichita Falls HS (TX)
1948Texas A&M (assistant)
1952–1955Midland HS (TX)
1956–1958Highland Park HS (TX)
1962Washington (assistant)
1963–1966Highland Park HS (TX)
Head coaching record
Overall7–4 (college)

A native of Wilson, Oklahoma, Jones attended Abilene Christian University, where he played running back and defensive back. In 1941 he joined the NFL's Brooklyn Dodgers, but did not see much playing time and eventually finished his playing career after the 1942 NFL season; instead he pursued a coaching career.

In 1943 he became head coach at Electra, a small community near Wichita Falls, Texas. Under his guidance, Electra was able to shut down Wichita Falls, one of the state's powerhouses at the time, with an obviously inferior team.[1] So in 1944, when Wichita Falls coach Ted Jeffries left the school for Lamar College, Jones was hired as his successor. In 1945, Jones guided Wichita Falls into the state semifinals, where they faced Rusty Russell's Highland Park squad from Dallas, led by Doak Walker and Bobby Layne. Wichita Falls had little chance and lost 18–0.

Jones was briefly head coach at Hardin College—now known as Midwestern State University—in 1947[2] and the following year, served as an assistant coach at Texas A&M University,[3] but returned to the high school level to coach at Midland High School in 1949. Four seasons later, Jones moved to Dallas, taking over at Highland Park, where he rewarded the boosters by producing a state championship in 1957. That year's Highland Park team also stopped Abilene High's 49-game winning streak. Jones left in 1959, but returned to Highland Park in 1963. He ultimately left Dallas in 1967. Jones also coached at the University of Washington.[4]

  • According to his family, Jones's name was often misspelled in the press. The correct spelling is "Thurmon."


  1. ^ Cashion, Ty (1998). Pigskin Pulpit: A Social History of Texas High School Football Coaches. Austin: Texas State Historical Association. p. 170. ISBN 0-87611-168-1.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Jones Quits Texas A. and M." The New York Times. July 13, 1948.
  4. ^ "Service held for Ex-Scots-Coach". The Dallas Morning News. January 20, 1988.