By DARLA HIGGINS
A Jefferson native is receiving high honors for her career as a girls’ basketball coach.
Marianne Jones, who coached at Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler from 1983 to 1986, will be inducted into the Tyler ISD Athletic Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Sept. 8, taking place before and during a football game between Robert E. Lee and John Tyler High Schools. As she and seven others are honored, videos and pictures will be shown of their accomplishments.
Jones, who spent all of her coaching career at Robert E. Lee before moving on to become an administrator, said she was nominated by one of her former players.
So what does it take to be a successful high-school coach? Jones laughs as she answers.
“Good players and some luck,” says Jones, who took her team to a second-place finish at the state tournament in 1986. “I had some very dedicated girls. At that time, there weren’t as many distractions that they have today.
“We spent a lot of time at the gym,” she adds. “And it wasn’t easy on the parents, either; we were away on holidays, so that was very tough. But they were always right there with us.”
Looking back, she says all of the coaches shared a bond and a goal of doing the best job for their players.
“The camaraderie I had with not only the female coaching staff, but the male staff as well – we were very close and supportive of each other,” she says. “And we remain friends today.”
Jones, who graduated from Jefferson High School, says she gets back to town as often as possible.
“My dad was born and raised here, and my mom is from Marshall,” she says. “Gosh, I love this town. This is home.”
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