December 11, 2009 10:13:00 AM
William Jones said thanks but no thanks Tuesday to Itawamba Community College.
The East Mississippi C.C. associate head coach interviewed for the vacant head football coach job at ICC and was offered the position Monday night.
But Jones said Thursday that he and the school couldn''t come to terms that satisfied him, so he declined the offer to become ICC''s new coach.
"It wasn''t anything for me," Jones said. "The salary was comfortable, but there were other situations that made me feel it was probably in my best interest and in their best interest to go in another direction."
Jones said one of his concerns was the number of assistant football coaches on staff. He said he wanted to add an assistant coach to give the Indians five, but he said that was a sticking point with the ICC administration.
Jones is one of six assistant football coaches at EMCC to head coach Buddy Stephens.
Jones said there were other factors he would have liked to addressed at ICC, but he wasn''t sure if they would be taken care of to his satisfaction, so he opted to pull his name out of consideration.
"I was really looking forward to accepting the job, but we couldn''t agree," said Jones, who is in his second season at EMCC.
Jones, who also serves as defensive coordinator, helped lead No. 5 EMCC to their first state title and a 27-24 victory against No. 6 Arizona Western College on Sunday in the Mississippi Bowl in Biloxi.
The victory helped EMCC (11-1) establish a new all-time school standard for wins in a season, breaking the previous mark of 10-1-1 set by Hall of Fame head coach Bob "Bull" Sullivan''s 1963 EMJC squad. The 1963 campaign also marked the last time the Lions had appeared in a postseason bowl game prior to this year.
Jones worked with Stephens for seven seasons at powerhouse Pearl River Community College in Poplarville. While at PRCC, Jones helped lead the Wildcats to a seven-year record of 60-12 (.833), including an NJCAA championship in 2004 and four consecutive MACJC state titles.
The Northeast Daily Journal of Tupelo reported Thursday that ICC Athletics Director Carrie Ball-Williamson hopes to have the position filled before the Christmas break.
"We''re still in the process of searching," she said earlier this week. "We should have a recommendation by the time the board meets (next week)."
Ball-Williamson told the paper it had received 30-40 applicants for the position, which opened last month after Jeff Terrill resigned after eight seasons at the school.
Terrill had a 38-36 record and helped the Indians win 24 out of 29 regular-season games in a stretch where ICC was the only program in the state to qualify for the playoffs four consecutive years.
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
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