West York High School head football coach Jeremy Jones stepping down after four seasons

West York coach Jeremy Jones (center) talks to his players during the team's game against Governor Mifflin on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017.
Governor Mifflin Mustangs defeat the West York Bulldogs 48-13 at Shillington. Photo by Jeremy Drey
  • West York head football coach Jeremy Jones is stepping down after four seasons.
  • Jones went 14-27 in his four seasons. The Bulldogs made the District 3 playoffs this year.
  • Jones cited his family and the time commitment as reasons for stepping down.

Almost none of West York’s football players could walk the last time Jeremy Jones wasn’t a football coach.

In fact, most of them weren’t even born yet.

Ten years ago, Jones said he wouldn’t have been able to imagine his life without coaching football. Since then, however, he’s gotten married, become a father and watched his father battle cancer three times.

Those things, he said, put football in its proper perspective.

That’s why Jones is stepping down as West York’s head coach — a post he’s held for the last four years.

“I know I want to be a better father,” said Jones, who informed the team of his decision on Tuesday. “I want to spend time with my family and be a better son. If you would’ve asked me 10 years ago, I would’ve said there’s no way I’m not coaching. As you get older, you get a new perspective on life.”

Time commitment: Jones, 40, has been a physical education and health teacher in the West York School District since 2002. A year later, Jones started as an assistant for the Bulldogs before taking the head coaching job at York Suburban from 2013-14.

Jones’ wife, Carrie, is the principal at West York High School, and he has two sons — a 5-year-old and a 12-year-old stepson.

“I spent a lot of time thinking about it the last few weeks,” Jones said. “I have a 5-year-old son and a 12-year-old stepson I’d like to spend more time with. Everything was scheduled around football in the summer and the fall, and I wasn’t comfortable with it anymore.”

West York football head coach Jeremy Jones leads his Bulldogs during practice Tuesday, August 22, 2017. John A. Pavoncello photo

His father lives four hours away, and he said he wants to be able to visit him more often, especially in the summers.

“Coaching requires a lot of your time,” he said. “I love working with kids and helping the kids, but in the summer, there are times I want to go visit my family. If I want to go for a week or two, I don’t want to worry about workouts or 7-on-7’s.”

Jones’ tenure: Before becoming the head man, Jones coached under Terry Bupp and Ron Miller. Bupp coached the Bulldogs from 1982-2005, while Ron Miller served as head coach from 2006-2014. Miller is now the head coach at Dallastown High School.

In his two seasons at Suburban, Jones totaled a 9-11 record.

Jones’ Bulldogs then went 14-27 in his four years. His best season was this year, when a senior-laden squad bounced back from an 0-5 start against a brutal schedule to win five straight, including a blowout win over rival Dover in the last week of the regular season, to make the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

“(The good season) didn’t factor into my decision,” he said. “It didn’t make this decision any easier, but it did make it a nicer conclusion.”

Will still help his players: With nearly 20 seniors graduating and several players looking to play in college — most notably NCAA Division I running back recruit Ay’Jaun Marshall and wide receiver Andrew LaManna — Jones said he will stay involved in the recruiting process for any player who wants his help.

“I’m still involved in the recruiting,” he said. “I’m still going to be involved with that, and they’ll still be in contact with me. I told them I’m still available. It’s not like I’m shutting them out. I have a good relationship with the kids.”

Likely not an end to his coaching career: Jones said this likely isn’t an end to his coaching career, but he didn’t say how long he will take off from coaching. Right now, he said, it’s about the time commitment it takes to be a head coach that is causing him to step down.

“I have no idea. It’s just going to be a weird experience,” Jones said when asked about how he’ll spend his Friday nights in the fall. “It comes down to the time. There’s so much time required. It’s not that I don’t love the kids or the sport. I’m going to be selfish now and pick my family.”

York Tech also looking for head coach: West York is now the second York-Adams League job to open up since the season ended.

York Tech head coach Charlie Troxell retired last week as a coach and teacher at Tech.

Troxel had two three-year head coaching stints at Tech, compiling an overall record of 6-54, including an 0-10 mark in each of the last two seasons.

Tech has traditionally struggled to win in football because of its lack of a feeder system at the junior high level. The Spartans' last winning season came in 1983, when it went 5-4-1.

Troxel's best year came in 2016 when the Spartans finished 4-6. That matched the program's highest win total since 1994.

Reach Jacob Calvin Meyer at jmeyer@yorkdispatch.com