Star Staff Reports
On Friday night, Munford High School and the Munford Cougar Football program recognized Johnnie H. Jones III for his recent induction into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
Last November the Class of 2018 was announced featuring Joe Allison, Allan Houston, Raleigh McKenzie, Reggie McKenzie, Tim Mack, George Quarles, Chuck Kriese, Jackie Poope, Isabelle Daniels Holston, Glenn McCadams, Blaine Bishop, James Haslam II and Munford’s own Johnnie Jones.
The newest members of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame were inducted June 16 in Nashville at the Omni-Nashville Hotel. It was the 52nd Annual Induction Banquet.
A native of Munford, Jones attended Munford High School where he quickly became a football star when he rushed for 4,547 yards and 47 touchdowns during his high school career. As a senior in 1980 at Munford he ran for 2,157 yards and 24 touchdowns.
Jones was recruited by the University of Tennessee. His name will forever be in the record books for becoming, in 1983, the first football player in UT history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a single season. Jones led the SEC in rushing in both 1983 (1116 yards) and 1984 (1290 yards) earning All-SEC honors both years. He was also named 2nd-team All- America by the Associated Press in 1984.
Jones entered the 1984 season as a candidate for the Heisman trophy and he made a strong case for his candidacy in the first two games of the season but an injury slowed his Heisman run. He is the only Vol runner with three 200-yard rushing games. Jones ended his career with 2852 rushing yards, which currently ranks fourth on UT’s all-time listing.
In the 1985 NFL draft, Jones was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round as the 137th overall pick and signed briefly with the Houston Oilers in 1986. In 1987, Jones joined the Hamilton Tiger Cats of the Canadian Football League finishing with 408 yards, 210 receiving yards and 27 catches. Jones was Hamilton’s nominee for the league’s most outstanding rookie award; however, Jones was injured most of the 1988 season forcing his retirement from the game.
Jones returned to Munford in 1991 to pursue a career in law enforcement, where he works as a school resource officer handling school security and part-time patrolman. His love for football continues as an assistant running back coach at the high school.
In 2003, Jones was honored as a “Vol Legend of the Game”, along with former teammate Bruce Wilkerson. In 2013, Jones was inducted into the Tipton County Sports Hall of Fame.
Jones is the son of Johnnie and Helen Jones Sr. He has two brothers, Greg and Parish and a sister, Candriel. He and his wife, Trena, have two daughters, Johnna Jones and Ivory Dyson; a son-in-law, Draper Dyson; and two granddaughters, Riley and Reese.
Friday night, Jones was presented with an official Munford Football game ball during halftime of the M&M Bowl by MHS Principal Dr. Courtney Fee and Munford Booster President Ross Russell.
The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, a 501c3, pays tribute to all those who have made an impact through sports in Tennessee. The Hall subscribes to the principle that sports serve society’s highest ideals by educating youth through sports. It promotes the virtues of competition, fair play, friendship, solidarity, mutual understanding and respect for human dignity. The best way to honor our sports legends is to pass this legacy down to future generations.