On March 8, Mississippi College announced that longtime athletic director and head men’s basketball coach Mike Jones is retiring. Jones has been the head basketball coach for 18 seasons split over three stints, amassing 342 career wins. He has been the school’s athletic director for over 20 years. MC also announced that Kenny Bizot will be the next athletic director.
Jones says that it was God’s calling for him to retire, “I’ve been talking about it. I’ve had some health issues over the years. My wife and I have talked about it. One day coming to work, God put it on my heart that it was time for me to step down. I called Sheila and told her that I needed to talk with Dr. Thompson. I went over and told him that it was time for me to step down and retire from athletics. I think without question or reservations that it was a God thing that it hit me on the way to work. My heart was at peace with it, I was at peace with it, and I had clarity.”
Jones took over as MC’s head basketball coach in 1988. He coached for 14 seasons in his original stint, from 1988 through 2002. He then coached two seasons from 2006-2008. He then took back over in 2019 and coached the last two seasons. His overall record at Mississippi College is 342-127. Before coming to MC, Jones coached for four seasons at Copiah-Lincoln (Co-Lin) Community College where he shined with a 112-20 record. Jones was named Athletic Director at MC in 1999 and has served in that position ever since. Jones also helped lead MC back to Division II several years ago.
Even with all of his accolades, which includes inductions into the Mississippi Sports, Mississippi College athletic, and Co-Lin athletic halls of fame, five conference championships, and three conference Coach of the Year awards, Jones points to leading young men as his biggest career highlight: “The biggest highlight of my career here is watching young men find Christ. Watching guys go out and do extremely well in their profession. I’ve got a lot of players who have done that. Those have been big highlights.”
He also points to the many relationships he has built: “The people on this campus. The faculty and staff, our coaching staff, my staff, those are highlights, the relationships I’ve built with them and the friends I have made. Wins and losses are always good, and I love to win, and I think I am a winner, but all the other things are a lot more important to me. Throughout the years, it’s just been a great thing to see people be successful.”
Another of his career highlights is that he also has the court in AE Wood Coliseum named after him: “That still gives me goosebumps when I walk down on the floor and I see my name there. That was a tremendous honor.”
Bizot comes from Co-Lin Community College and he played under Jones here at MC from 1990-1994. He also is a former assistant coach at Mississippi College and UT-Tyler and has over 20 years of coaching experience.