Jones to be inducted into hall of fame

Published 11:12 pm Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Williamsburg high school track coach with roots in Smithfield is one of seven Hampton Roads athletes and coaches who will be inducted into the Hampton Roads African-American Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Melvin Howard Jones will be honored for the impact he has had “on generations of players and students by caring about them and spreading his old school philosophy and down home values” according to a press release from the HRAASHF.

He graduated from Isle of Wight Training School, where he earned 11 letters and was selected Division AA All-State in football. After “walking on” at Norfolk State University, he earned scholarships in football and track and field and garnered eight letters in those sports in 1958-1961, becoming a four- time All Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference sprinter and three-time All EIAC running back.

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Jones coached football at Lafayette High School in Williamsburg from 1973 to 1989, and he is currently the school’s director of track and field for the boys’ and girls’ indoor and outdoor track and field teams.

Others to be honored at the event include LaTasha Colander-Clark, a 2000 Olympic gold medalist and two-time Olympian, and five other Hampton Roads athletes and coaches: Cyrus Lawrence, Robert Screen, John Baker, D.J. Dozier, Joe Dean Davidson and Harold Gray.

The class will be feted at the Waterside Marriott Hotel in Norfolk.

Joining the 16th anniversary class of inductees is Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott. Scott is the HRAASHF’s 2012 Community Contributor.

The Hampton Roads African-American Sports Hall of Fame recognizes black athletes who were born, spent formative years or participated in athletics in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia.

For more information about the banquet, call Yvette Todd at 404-1755.