Joey Jones

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Report: Ex-South Alabama coach Joey Jones heading to Mississippi State

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After stepping down from his position as head coach at South Alabama, Joey Jones will remain in the coaching game this fall. According to a report from Steve Robertson of 247 Sports, Jones will join the Mississippi State coaching staff and serve as the special teams coordinator for head coach Joe Moorhead.

Jones was the head coach of the upstart South Alabama program from 2008 through 2017. As head coach of the Jaguars, Jones was 52-50 and the program played in two bowl games. Among the highlights for Jones during his time at South Alabama, ironically, was a 21-20 upset victory over Mississippi State to open the 2016 season. South Alabama was a four-touchdown underdog against the Bulldogs and survived for an upset win after Mississippi State kicker missed an extra point attempt. Mississippi State held leads of 17-0 and 20-7 in the game before letting it slip away.

The hiring of Jones continues a trend for Moorhead in building his first coaching staff with the Bulldogs. Although Moorhead has his own experience as a head coach prior to his arrival at Mississippi State, Moorhead has been building his coaching staff with assistants with previous head coaching experience as well. Tight ends coach Mark Hudspeth and quarterback coach Andrew Breiner each bring head coaching experience to the program that, in theory, will make for a more competent coaching staff on the sidelines this fall and moving forward.

Jones will replace Scott Fountain, who left Mississippi State for Georgia amid the coaching carousel this offseason.

South Alabama makes change at offensive coordinator

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Another college football coordinator has been given his pink slip before hitting October. This time it is South Alabama offensive coordinator Bryant Vincent. On Monday morning, South Alabama announced Vincent has been relieved of his duties effective immediately.

“Sunday afternoon Coach Vincent came to me and expressed concern about our current status and what is best for our program moving forward.  After meeting with him, a decision was made to relieve him of his duties,” South Alabama head coach Joey Jones said in a released statement.  “Bryant is a great friend and has always had the best interests of our student-athletes in mind.  I sincerely appreciate all of his hard work.  I wish him the very best.”

Who will serve as the offensive coordinator will be moving forward has not been clarified by the school at this time. Vincent was also South Alabama’s quarterback coach too. Jones may just take on the playcalling himself for the remainder of the season if he does not promote anyone on the staff to the position.

South Alabama’s offense ranks 91st in the nation in scoring offense and is 130th in the nation (out of 130) in third-down conversions with just nine third-down conversions out of 45 attempts. The Jaguars dropped a home game against Idaho on Saturday, 29-23 to fall to 1-3 with the lone win coming against Alabama A&M. The first two losses of the year, however, came against Ole Miss and Oklahoma State, so it’s not as though South Alabama was expected to be too much better than they are at this point after four weeks of play.

Navy’s Niumatalolo joins noteworthy coaching group

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Navy’s 13th straight victory over Army in the annual Army-Navy Game made Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo the all-time winningest coach in Navy football history. That also put Niumatalolo in a pretty unique group of coaches.

Niumatalolo is the 12th active head coach at the FBS level to be the all-time winningest coach at his respective program. He joins coaches like Bill Snyder of Kansas State, Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech, Pat Fitzgerald of Northwestern as well as Bob Stoops of Oklahoma. Steve Spurrier is also included in that list at South Carolina.

This full list of all-time winningest FBS coaches at their current programs was passed along by Navy athletics;

  • Kansas State- Bill Snyder
  • Missouri- Gary Pinkel
  • Navy-Ken Niumatalolo
  • Northwestern- Pat Fitzgerald
  • Oklahoma- Bob Stoops
  • Oklahoma State- Mike Gundy
  • Old Dominion- Bobby Wilder
  • South Alabama- Joey Jones
  • South Carolina- Steve Spurrier
  • TCU- Gary Patterson
  • Texas-San Antonio-Larry Coker
  • Virginia Tech- Frank Beamer

USF quarterback transfers to South Alabama

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Former USF quarterback Matt Floyd has found a landing spot for a transfer. South Alabama announced Thursday the program welcomes the transfer quarterback, with two years of eligibility remaining.

“We recruited Matt out of high school, he was the No. 1 guy on our board at quarterback,” said South Alabama head coach Joey Jones in a released statement.  “He ended up going to South Florida, so having this opportunity to get him will be great for our program not only at quarterback but because of his character and leadership skills — he is a high-quality young man.  Matt is a dual-threat quarterback; he fits what we do because he can run and throw, he has a strong arm and good size.  We feel like we’ve got a guy who can fit into our scheme offensively.”

It was reported in late February Flolyd was looking to transfer. Because he will have already graduated, Floyd will be eligible to play right away at South Alabama instead of having to sit out a season under typical NCAA transfer rules.

Floyd appeared in just one game last fall for the Bulls, and that game did not go so well. After winning the starting job to open the season, Floyd was placed on the bench in the middle of a disappointing season opening loss at home to McNeese State, an FCS program.

This is a nice addition for South Alabama. Floyd may have had a rough go at USF, but a clean slate at a program looking to build could be a good combination for him. It is expected he will compete right away for the starting job. The Jaguars already have four quarterbacks on the roster, but just one upperclassman (junior Brandon Bridge).