Dyneshia Jones/ Charles Henderson
2020 Coach of the Year
Background: A native of Rome, Ga., who played at Troy University (1995-97), Jones was in her 22nd year as a head coach of the Charles Henderson girls program. She has more than 350 wins with the Trojans, including 193 in the last seven years with five state tournament appearances. This is her second Dothan Eagle Coach of the Year honor in three years.
By the Numbers: After graduating three seniors, including Rutgers signee Maori Davenport, Jones guided Charles Henderson this past season to a 29-0 record and to the Class 5A state title. The unbeaten record was the 22nd in AHSAA girls basketball history and the state title was the second in three years for CHHS.
On being named coach of year: I just give all the credit to my girls. We wouldn’t win the games without them. I always thank their hard work and dedication even with the number we have (only nine players).
What were your preseason expectations? I knew we had a good group of girls coming back. They worked pretty hard in the preseason in weights and workouts. We had very intense workouts. I didn’t think any less about them (after losing key players). We go through this every year in losing players. I felt we would make it far and I didn’t put a limit on how far we could make it.
How did you adjust not having Maori Davenport? With my senior Samira Moore in the summertime – and even when Maori was still here - I had her working on post moves and adjusted the plays to where you have four out and one in or three guards and two post players. It was just adjusting the plays with her being gone and losing two post players overall.
What does it mean to be undefeated? I still sit back and smile about that. It is a great feeling. That is every coach’s dream. Being a coach, I wanted us to play and possibly get beat to let them know that we can be beaten, but we just kept going like I always tell them, ‘playing one game at a time and let’s focus on this game.’
When did you sense you could have an undefeated championship season? I hate thinking ahead of time. I hate looking forward. I don’t. When the buzzer went off when we beat Madison Academy (in state championship game) was when it was for real. People ask me, ‘Are you going to win it this year?’ I am always like, ‘We will see.’ I hate looking forward because I think that is kind of like bad luck.
Was lack of depth a concern? I feel like that every year because I average about nine players the past couple of years. But I prepare them (the starters) for that by not letting them sit down late in games or by having guys come play them and have them just running and playing against the guys. They were in shape for it (playing whole games).