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Tony Jones a Tornado

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- For former Tennessee assistant Tony Jones, it was a chance to keep doing the things he loves to do. He's coaching basketball and molding young lives.

"I love my association with the young people," Jones said. "I love to grow and develop them. There is only one job I would have taken in East Tennessee or all of Tennessee and that's Alcoa."

Gone are the days of office work and on the road recruiting. The biggest challenge for coach Jones will be a transition into the classroom.

"I have my degree in healthcare administration," Jones said. "So that health/wellness component fits right in with what I'm going to be doing. I'm going to be teaching some health classes and some PE classes."

Coach Jones served as the interim head coach of the Vols last season during Bruce Pearl's eight-game SEC suspension. He learned a lot during that highly viewed stint on the bench.

"To be able to handle the pressure and adapt to different circumstances," Jones said. "And to be able to manage players out there on the basketball floor and manage officials. It's going to help me as I lead the Alcoa basketball team."

It's well known that Alcoa has a strong tradition and history in football. And as Jones takes over for former Alcoa head coach Micah Marsh, his goals will remain the same, make this program a state contender and win championships.

"My focus is to be the best we can be at Alcoa High School," Jones said. "To get the program to a championship level so we can compete for championships on a year in, year out basis."

Jones is yet to meet with his team because of the standard TSSAA dead period. He'll be able to visit with his players next week after the dead period ends.

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