North Gulfport Middle School names gym after Coach Bobby Jones
North Gulfport Middle School celebrated a coaching icon in a major way Saturday by renaming the middle school gym after him.
Bobby Joe Jones coached students for more than three decades, but not only was he a coach, he was a principal, mentor, father, and friend to many in the Gulfport community.
To show their love for Coach Jones, many of his former co-workers, students, and family gathered in the North Gulfport Middle School Gym to share memories and pay respects to Coach Jones before unveiling the new name of the middle school gym. Event organizer Beverly Coleman said, “He believed in team work. He was very patient. He taught us a lot. He was our teacher. He was our coach. He was always honorable and he just did so much for us.”
Coleman was a former student of Coach Jones. She proposed the idea of having the gym renamed after Coach Jones in August 2021. Coleman says the impact he left on her was so powerful she wanted to share his name and legacy with every student that walks the halls of North Gulfport. “I wanted to follow in his footsteps. So, I went and got a degree in education. I got my Masters then I became a coach. He came to my basketball games in Mobile. I also wanted to be a principal.”
Many people took to the podium to share special and memorable times they shared with Coach Jones.
Councilwoman Ella-Holmes Hines said, “I want the young people to say who is that man? What did he do? To learn about the excellence of Coach Bobby Jones.”
Coach Jones retired in 2002, but still continues to help out wherever he is needed. Coach Jones said, “At least four days out of the week, I go to the high school and junior high to try to help students and I tell them it’s too late for me.”
Coach Jones says when he started his journey in education, he never knew it would lead him to impact so many people. “To have a gym named after you, it just makes you feel like you want to do even more than you ever done. It makes you feel like all the work you do for people and help out is all worthwhile.”