SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Sunday, Saratoga Springs football coach Terry Jones announced that he was stepping down after leading the program for 16 years.
“It’s something I’ve been thinking about the past few years, since COVID hit and we didn’t play that fall,” Jones said. “There’s some younger coaches here who are ready and I felt it was a good time for me to spend some time doing some other things.”
Jones took over as the head coach of the Saratoga Springs varsity team in 2007, after having been involved with the program since 1999.
The Blue Streaks won the Section II Class AA championships in 2009 and 2015 under Jones, advancing to the NYSPHSAA championship game at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse in 2015.
“You’d probably have to say the top one is beating New Rochelle and getting to the state championship game in 2015,” Jones said of a favorite memory as head coach. “Walking on the field in Syracuse was definitely special, but there’s definitely a lot to choose from.”
Jones began his coaching career in 1991 after graduating from the University of Rochester, where he played football collegiately. He also played high school football for Ballston Spa.
This past season Saratoga Springs posted a 5-5 overall record to make the Class AA playoffs. The Blue Streaks’ season came to an end after a 10-0 defeat to Christian Brothers Academy in the sectional semifinals.
“I think if we had gone 10-0 or 0-10, my decision would have been the same,” Jones said, who told the players of his decision earlier this month. “I had a meeting with a bunch of the players before the April break and I informed them at that point.”
Jones will continue teaching at Saratoga Springs, as well as his role as the assistant bowling coach.
“Football’s really become a 12-month sport. After 32 years of coaching and probably another 13 of playing, I felt like it was time. I want to get out and enjoy some other aspects of life,” Jones said. “I’m going to miss watching the kids develop and get better, being successful and overcoming obstacles. It was time, but I still plan on staying involved in the Section II Football Committee, which I’ve been on since 2010. I’m going to stay involved and if I miss it too much, I can always find a spot somewhere as an assistant. As of right now, my days of coaching football are over.”
It is having some free time in the fall that Jones is most looking forward to.
“Fall’s always been my favorite time of year and not just because of football,” he said. “I have a lot of friends who hunt in the fall. It’s a great time of year to get out and explore. My sister-in-law lives in Austin, Texas, and we’re already talking about going down there to see a Texans game. Those things are so hard to do when you’re so wrapped up in the season.”