In naming assistant coach Reggie Jones as its new head football coach, Bruton High has turned to the man with perhaps the longest and most historic ties to the program.
Jones played multiple positions for the Panthers and helped them win the 1985 York River District title and reach the playoffs for the first time in school history. After playing on the defensive and offensive lines at Hampton University - where he helped Coach Joe Taylor turn a 2-9 team into a 9-2-1 team the next season in 1992 - he returned to coach at Bruton.
He joined the Bruton staff of Kyle Neve and helped the Panthers - the state's losingest program for years - to a stunning turnaround and Region I Division 3 playoff berth in 1993. Before leaving to become an assistant coach at Rappahannock High in 1997, Jones helped Bruton reach the playoffs in four consecutive seasons.
He returned to Bruton as an assistant in 2008, when Harrod became head coach. The two were longtime friends.
"We went to kindergarten together," Jones said of he and Harrod. "We played against each other in middle school when he was at James Blair and I was at Queens Lake, and then scrimmaged against each other in high school when he was at Lafayette.
"I've learned something from all of the coaches I've been with. Coach Taylor was disciplined and well-organized, but the same can be said of Coach Neve and Coach Harrod.
"How are kids going to believe in you if you're not organized? We're not just here to coach football, we're here to help them become productuve citizens in the community. You have to have people in the right positions to produce good citizens.
"I played at Bruton for Dave Glosson, and he was a good man, too."
Jones, an assistant on the Panthers' 2009 state finalists, takes over a Bruton teams that was 7-4 a year ago and reached the 2A East Region playoffs. He inherits a group that should include all-state defensive back Zach Uvodich, lineman Paul Fyffe and Tyler Brown.
Jones' son, Daniel Jones - an All-Conference 33 wide receiver - also returns. Jones is looking forward to being the head coach for his son, a rising junior, but says that can be a delicate situation.
"It means a lot, but there's fine line coaching your son," said Jones, a physical education and drivers education instructor at Bruton. "You can be intense, but you can't cross a line.
"When I leave Bruton, I have to be daddy. It's exciting but it can be a touchy situation."