06/22/07 — Jones named new coach at Wayne Country Day

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Jones named new coach at Wayne Country Day

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 22, 2007 1:47 PM

Each time men's varsity basketball coach Terry Jones steps into the Wayne Country Day gymnasium, he focuses on the white boards hanging on the wall.

Those white, bright boards covered in red letters list the accomplishments, conference and statewide, for the men's and women's athletic teams at the Class 1-A independent school. And Jones knows the community is hungry to see more added in the future.

He certainly doesn't plan to curb the fans' appetite, but feed them a daily diet of success. Jones is undoubtedly off to a rousing start after guiding the Chargers to an 11-2 record, and first-place trophy, during a team camp at UNC Wilmington.

"Our losses came the first two days," said Jones. "The (overall) result shows the progress the guys made through the course of the week. We've got a new group of guys who stepped onto the court and didn't know much about each other.

"As the days developed, they moved the ball around a lot and began to have fun. They did everything together as a team, whether it was going to dinner or just hanging out."

It was Jones' initial observation of his first-ever varsity team. The Mount Olive College graduate took over for Mike Ellis, who guided the Chargers to 10 victories and a state-playoff appearance last winter.

"We stole the best coach away from the Wayne County public schools," boasted Chargers athletics director Michael Taylor. "He's a great up-and-coming coach who is going to surprise a lot of people. With Terry on staff, he knows a lot of people in the basketball community and will be able to attract those people to our program."

While Jones gushed over Taylor's praise, one of his concerns is to bring stability to the tradition-rich program. He is the Chargers' fifth head coach in the past five years.

Wayne Country Day is a perennial postseason fixture and hasn't missed the playoffs in the new millenium. The 2002 squad reached the final four, but the remaining teams endured either first- or second-round defeats.

The Chargers captured N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A crowns in 1984 and 1990, and finished runner-up in 1994. Their last Coastal Plains Independent Conference championship came in 2002.

"Terry is someone I believe who is going to be here for awhile," said Taylor, who guided WCDS to its first-ever state baseball title this spring. "He and I have sat down and talked about the goals for this program."

Jones expects to put an unselfish team, which gives 100 percent every time it steps onto the court. He says the group of seven players is talented from top to bottom and the potential is there to experience great success.

"But, at the same time when you have young players, there will be a lot of mental mistakes," said Jones. "As a coaching staff, we have to minimize those mistakes. My main objective is to give these guys an opportunity to play and succeed.

"A lot of players in the area have the skills (to play collegiately), but are not given the choices when they graduate to either be just a student or play a sport."

Jones spent four years at Eastern Wayne after graduating from MOC. He led the boys' basketball team to a 16-0 record and the Wayne County Middle School Athletic Conference Division I crown. Jones is the fifth MOC player to coach on the high school level along with Wells Gulledge (Kinston), Russell Royal (Southern Wayne), Johnny Galarza (Spring Creek) and Keith Lynch.

"It was a difficult decision to leave Eastern Wayne because I was in a great place," said Jones. "We all have goals and ambitions, and one of mine is to coach at this level. This is an opportunity where I have a lot of flexibility to make decisions, which will help prepare me to succeed in the future."

And satisfy that hunger within the WCDS community.