Athletic directors and head coaches have realized that strength and conditioning coaches at the collegiate level are very impactful, regardless of the sport. They are with the players frequently, sometimes two or three times per day. This allows for them to get to know the athletes better than some of the other coaches, who don’t get to communicate with them on a more personal level.
Alabama’s assistant head strength and conditioning coach, Terry “Young Bull” Jones, helps oversee the University’s 37,000 square-foot weight room. While he may not be one of the most well-known faces of the program, such as head strength-and-conditioning coach Scott Cochran, Jones plays an integral part in fostering the success of Alabama’s athletics, and it was Cochran who gave Jones the nickname, “Young Bull.”
Jones works with a number of teams and trains a number of athletes in the Mal Moore Athletic Facility on a daily basis. The teams that he spends most of his time with are the women’s basketball team and the football team.
Jones’ day always starts with a prayer and meditation on his “victory for the day.” He started doing this ritual long before he became a coach. As a young boy in Sandersville, Georgia, Jones prayed every morning and channeled his inner “eye of the tiger.” His love for football was always there. In what Jones called a small country town of 25,000 people, there was not much to do besides play outside, as long as he was home by the time the street lights came on per his mother’s orders.
Jones excelled in football throughout his childhood and that continued into his high school career, which led to him receive offers from a number of schools, including The University of Alabama. Jones accepted the offer from Alabama and became a starting center for the Crimson Tide in 1974, for which he played under coach Paul Bear Bryant.
Jones described Bryant as a disciplinarian.
“He was strict but he provided us with everything we needed to be successful in life,” he said. “He took care of us.”
Although the campus was a very divided and segregated place during the 1970s, there was one place where everyone loved to hang out – Bryant Hall, the athletic dormitory on campus. It was known as the “wicked city.” Jones said Bryant made it a point to make sure his players had fun, but he still focused on the most important thing – football.
Jones did very well at the center position, however, ultimately, Bryant decided to move Jones to defensive tackle. This decision proved to be the right one as Jones became a collegiate All-American who won SEC Championships and a number of bowl games.
Once he was done at Alabama in 1978, the Green Bay Packers drafted him as the 248th overall pick in the 11th round.
“The thing that separated college from pro was the speed of the game,” Jones said.
The speed of life also started to pass by Jones and before he knew it, he was married to his wife, Willie, who also attended The University of Alabama. While his then-girlfriend was in school, he helped support her all the way from Green Bay. She now practices civil law. They have four children, all of whom received legacy scholarships to attend The University of Alabama because their dad played for Bryant. Two of his children, Terry Jr. and Jason, also played for Alabama.
“My whole family is athletic,” Jones said. “They get that from me and the brains from my wife.”
While Jones has only four biological children, he said has a lot more “kids” when he steps on to the Alabama campus.
His son, Jason, does not mind sharing him.
“I’ve played with some of the guys here that aren’t as blessed as me to have my father in my life,” he said. “My dad is there for my family and his athletes and I could never have a problem with that.”
Jones is 60 years old and feels as though he is in his prime. He is in no rush to retire any time soon, and he’s been working for Alabama since 1988.
“These kids here, I like working with them and when I don’t have that joy, that’s when I’ll move on,” he said. “For now this is what I love and helping these kids become better athletes and become women and men is always my victory for the day.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports