For the past two high school basketball seasons, Bill Jones has been an assistant coach with the Aberdeen High School boys varsity basketball team.
It was a job he took after a surprising dismissal from the head coaching job at Harford Tech, where he led the Cobras for 13 seasons. There he totaled 165 wins, four section titles and the first and only region title.
Just 10 days or so ago, Jones learned he will be back where he’s most comfortable, in the head coach role. The job: staying and taking over the Aberdeen boys program.
“I love the game of basketball, but more than that I just love being with, I think with this age of kids and to be able to have an impact at Aberdeen is definitely worth it, a major reason why I want to continue to coach there,” Jones said this week.
The selection process was not unlike others. The job was posted available and Jones sent in his resume. Among five to six candidates, Jones earned an interview with Aberdeen Athletic Director Tim Lindecamp.
The announcement came about a week later that Jones got the job.
“All of the returning 10th through 12th graders I’ve developed a good relationship with the last two years, so that was a plus,” Jones said. “Gotten to know some of the parents, I think they trust me. I think I kind of fit in well with the community.”
Jones is no stranger to Aberdeen basketball. He has watched some of the best to wear the blue and gold, and he has watched past coaches Bob McCone, Ron Petry, Tony Cole, Johnny Brooks and Richard Hart.
“I think one of the big things, as a coach in Harford County, Aberdeen, most of my time, has always been the top,” Jones said. “As a coach, you say well, how would I do, how would my style work if I coached at Aberdeen. Now I get the chance.”
Jones has coached basketball at some level since the early 1990s. The start came as an assistant JV boys coach at North Harford. Jones was a JV head coach at Southern Lancaster County High School in Quarryville, Pennsylvania, for two years and he was an assistant coach at HCC for two years. At Tech he was also a JV head coach, which led to 13-year run as head coach.
Jones has also coached his stepson at North Harford Rec, both in house and travel.
If not for the assistant job at Aberdeen the past two years, this day may not have come. And it gave Jones a different view.
“Well being an assistant, you’re obviously learning all the new players, you’re learning the athletic director, a different administration,” Jones said.
It was fall 2018 when Jones was in Aberdeen watching his stepson play football, and Lindecamp asked what his intentions were moving forward. Jones said he hadn’t give it much thought, but it wasn’t too long before Jones came on as the assistant to head coach Brandon Selby.
“One of the big differences of being an assistant is the referees I talk to and had a great relationship for almost 20 years. They would tell me, I can’t speak to you because you’re not the head coach or ‘hey coach, you have to stay seated, you’re an assistant now. You can’t jump up, so that was an adjustment there,” Jones said.
“I guess another adjustment is not being in full control. If the game is on the line, we actually had a great relationship, me and the head coach [Brandon Selby], but ultimately it’s someone else’s decision. That took getting used to a little bit,” Jones said. “It was an adjustment, but I’m glad I did it. It was a great experience it’s good to see it from a different perspective, whereas the head coach, ultimately most decisions are coming from me, where maybe I should have paid attention more to what my assistants had to say when I was at Harford Tech.”
Jones, now 51, is a 20-year employee of Harford County Public Schools. The past four years he’s been distribution center assistant manager in the purchasing department.
Jones says he consulted with Laura, his wife of five years, about the job. “She’s a big reason why I pursued becoming a head coach again,” Jones said.
“I would like to stress my gratitude towards Principal Mike Quiqq and Athletic Director Tim Lindecamp for their confidence in me to run what I believe to be the standard, year in and year out, for boys basketball in Harford County.”