USA officials visit Atmore Rotary Club

Published 2:13 am Wednesday, April 16, 2008

By By Adam Prestridge
An Atmore native has played an essential role in getting the newly developed University of South Alabama football team started.
USA chief financial officer (CFO) Wayne Davis, a native of Atmore, was the man behind the numbers when it came time to present the proposed football team to the board of trustees in December 2007.
Davis, along with USA athletic director Joe Gottfried and head football coach Joey Jones spoke at Tuesday’s Atmore Rotary Club luncheon about the school’s new football program.
According to Gottfried, Davis and USA president Gordon Moulton, who has been president of the college for the last 10 years, put the plan to start a football team together.
Davis is the brother of longtime Atmore Rotarian Bobby Davis, who arranged the Rotary program.
Davis first introduced his brother, Wayne, who has been on the USA staff since 1966.
According to Davis, USA has 14,000 students, 60,000 graduates, about 100,000 alumni including graduates and 200,000 people in Mobile and thousands in surrounding areas that want college football.
Wayne Davis oversees the school’s more than $700 million budget.
Since Gottfried has been AD, Jaquar athletic teams have one 106 Sunbelt Conference championships, have competed in 56 NCAA championships, 74 athletes have been named All-Americans and four athletes have been named individual national champions. His son, Mark, is the head basketball coach at the University of Alabama and his brother, Mike, is a football analysist for ESPN.
Jones, a Mobile native, was named head coach of the newly developed program in February after spending two years restarting Birmingham-Southern College’s football program.
Jones said he has hired a “great” staff, but is not finished filling all positions.
A graduate of the University of Alabama, Jones holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, the 45-year-old coach played for the Crimson Tide under legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. During his four seasons in Tuscaloosa, the Tide compiled a record of 35-12-1, including two Cotton Bowl appearances. He finished his career with 71 receptions, 1,386 yards and 15 touchdowns, ranking third on the career touchdown receptions chart and seventh in career receiving yards.
Jones earned All-SEC honors as a senior after hauling in 31 passes for 468 yards and five touchdowns. He was later selected to Alabama’s All-Decade Team for the 1980s. He played professionally with the Birmingham Stallions of the USFL and the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.
Jones has found success coaching throughout his career. Before moving to the college ranks, he compiled a record of 125-38 (.767) in 13 years at high school level. In 10 years at Mountain Brook High School, he compiled a 101-27 record from 1996-2005 including a visit to the 1996 Class 6A state championship game, four region titles, two semifinal appearances and three quarterfinal appearances.
Jones began his coaching career at Dora High School, where he amassed a 24-11 record from 1991-93. He began his coaching career serving on the Briarwood Christian staff from 1989-90.
At Birmingham-Southern last season, Jones led a squad of 126 freshmen to a 3-7 record, including a pair of wins over established junior college programs.
Until kickoff in 2009, USA officials will be busy planning for the school’s future in athletics.

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