IN LOVING MEMORY OF ROBERT ELROY JONES, JR.
BWOPA/TILE was honored to kick-off the REJ Scholarship Fund during Robert’s birthday week beginning November 14,2022 inviting family, friends and colleagues to join us in supporting his legacy by making a contribution to the "Robert E. Jones, Jr. Scholarship Fund".
BWOPA State President and co-founder, the Honorable Dezie Woods-Jones, along with the TILE Board established the memorial scholarship fund in memory of her late son, Robert E. Jones Jr. Robert was a faithful supporter of BWOPA from a very young age and was named BWOPA’s “Jr. Man of the Year” in 1985.
The purpose of the scholarship fund, in addition to assisting Robert’s only surviving son, Isaiah Robert Jones, a talented athlete and academic scholar with his future pursuit of higher education, is to assist other young athletes in their academic quest. Robert encouraged hard work not only to develop Isaiah's gifts, but also the gifts of other young athletes. He planted in them his wisdom and encouraged them to pursue excellence in sports and in all aspects of their lives. The REJ Scholarship fund will support athletic/academic scholars in pursuit of higher education. We realize that every athlete, no matter how talented, may not receive a full scholarship to attend college; and with the high cost of education, many students require financial assistance. Rob's love of sports and his passion for working with young people and his desire to serve others is the inspiration for this effort.
For these reasons, the family and friends of “Robert, Rob, Robby, Coach” Jones created the REJ Scholarship Fund in loving memory of Rob.
ABOUT COACH JONES - Rob was an excellent coach and trainer, winning numerous coaching and team awards. He not only inspired his own children, but hundreds of others who loved and respected him. Coach Robert “Bones” Jones coached basketball for more than 15 years in California and Arizona. He was a Physical Education teacher and trainer who designed programs to help athletes perform better, including his own AAU basketball program and training program. Robert began his basketball coaching career in Southern California where he created, coached and taught youth basketball and sports programs in Calabasas, Agoura Hills, and Westlake Village.
Rob helped launch Liberty High School’s athletic program and coached at Valley Vista High School, both in Arizona, leading their teams to multiple playoffs. Coach Jones also helped build a strength and agility program for the Valley Vista girls basketball program and successfully lead them to a state championship. In addition to coaching boys’ and girls’ varsity and JV basketball, he coached football and track & field with much success, including winning the Arizona State Championship. With 45 sports seasons, he coached and trained more than 35 All-Conference, 15 All-Region and 5 State Champions. Because of the love of sports and his care of his students, Rob frequently went to work while in deep pain never complaining or sharing his condition with his colleagues or students.
Coach Jones was named one of the Top Coaches in Arizona by Arizona Magazine. Growing up, Robert was a Junior Olympian in track & field and a three-sport athlete at St. Mary’s High School in Berkeley, CA. Robert has two beautiful children, Amani Sorensen-Jones, and Isaiah Robert (Z) Jones. Robert departed this life on May 20, 2022 after a long battle with Crohn’s disease and finally sub coming to Acute Myeloid Leukemia at the age of 50.
Here are just a few comments from some of Rob's previous students and coaching colleagues:
- “Coach Jones! Thank you so much for coaching me this season. I appreciate how supportive you were. You made this an amazing season.”…Audrey
“I am very blessed to have had you this year as one of my coaches. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I will never forget you. You helped me believe that anything is possible and to never give up. I hear your voice in my head every time I work out and feel like giving up. Thank you for everything” – Danii
“Coach Jones, thank you so much for always believing in me and pushing me to my limits to be a better player.” - Mina
- "Coach Jones, thank you for everything. You always made practice fun but also made sure we were trying our best.” - #21 Jasmine Banks
"Coach Jones! Thank you so much for all of your love and support!” – Ele Hansen
- "Coach Jones, the parents and players of Capo Girls Basketball want you to know how much we appreciate all you have done this year to prepare the girls, win games, and build a program we can be proud of. Thank You.” – Parents of Capo
REJ Scholarship Fund Board
- Dezie Woods-Jones, Chair
- Amani Sorensen-Jones, Vice Chair
- Nicholas Williams, Director of Parks & Recreation San Francisco, Director of Donor Contributions
- Ralph Bessard, Crossover Ministries, Director of Scholarship Submissions
- LaNiece Jones, Executive Director, BWOPA/TILE
- Dr. Cassandra Joubert, Fund Administrator
Scholarship Advisory Committee:
- Dr. Christine McPhail, President, St. Augustine University
- Brent Ambers, St. Mary’s Alum
- Sean Lockhart, St. Mary’s Alum
- Tore Norris, St. Mary’s Alum
- Kente Scott, St. Mary’s Alum
- Kymm Wilson, St. Mary’s Alum
2022/23 Financial Goal: Raise a minimum of $20,000 and provide at least three scholarships during the first anniversary of Rob’s passing, in May 2023.