03/16/13 — Terry Jones resigns at WCDS

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Terry Jones resigns at WCDS

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 16, 2013 11:30 PM

A devout follower of Christ and passionate in his ministry, Terry Jones has reached a crossroads in his life.

He's ready to take the less-traveled path.

Jones stepped down as head varsity basketball coach at Wayne Country Day on Friday afternoon. He informed his players of the decision less than two weeks after guiding them to the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A playoffs.

"Coaching isn't something I felt I was going to do for a lifetime," Jones said. "It was a hobby, an itch, if you will. I knew it was going to come to this, I just didn't know when. I also have a passion for ministry and my community, and it's time that I start pursuing those things at another level."

A Mount Olive College alum, Jones became an ordained minister in 2003 -- five years before he took over the head coaching job at Wayne Country Day. He presently serves as associate pastor at The Place of Refuge Ministries (PoR) and is pastor of FUSION Student Ministries.

Jones is working on his master's degree at the Liberty University School of Divinity. When he's not coaching, Jones shares his experiences as a guest speaker at different churches.

Wayne Country Day posted 110 victories and made six trips to the playoffs during Jones' six-year tenure on the bench. The Chargers finished 17-9 this season and lost in the elite eight to Trinity Christian of Fayetteville.

The decision never troubled Jones.

In fact, his calmness led to a different coaching style this season. Jones pushed his players in practices and in games, but never let the small things nag him as they've done in the past.

"Certain things that would have ticked me off in years past, I learned to let it go because of the position I was in and the choice I was going to make," said Jones, who guided WCDS to three consecutive 22-win seasons from 2008-2010.

"I learned to appreciate every little moment whether good or bad, find a positive in everything."

The one striking positive is that Jones has resuscitated a program that has gained respect statewide.

A successor has not been named.

WCDS headmaster Todd Anderson said the field of coaching candidates has been narrowed to within a 30-minute drive of the campus. Anderson and athletics director Michael Taylor will conduct interviews and make the final hire since the school's Board of Trustees does not handle personnel matters.

The school's contract renewal period for teachers ends April 15. Anderson hopes to introduce Jones' replacement at that time.

"We want it to be someone to succeed Terry who understands it's an independent school that is not wealthy despite what a lot of people think," Anderson said. "We don't give athletic scholarships and we're not interested in giving athletic scholarships. We've got to have kids who are motivated first to come here because of academics and second because of the athletics.

"We got so lucky to have Terry. He came in, the program settled down quickly (and) he went about putting it together the right way. I didn't have to worry about integrity. He's made it a class program."

The Chargers lost three seniors off this year's team.

A majority of the players are expected to return next season, including Lee Atkinson, who earned all-state recognition and was named the Coastal Plains Independent Conference player-of-the-year.

"My commitment to the program and my gift to the program was I would make sure when I left, I left it in better hands than when I got it," Jones said. "I feel very good about the future of the program and there is a solid foundation that has been laid."