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Roger Jones

Track and Field ∙ Aliquippa

 

 

 

 

There have been many coaches in Beaver County more famous than Roger Jones, but none more active. At his induction in 1981 at age 80, he could look back on a 47 year teaching career at Aliquippa High School during which he had the distinction of coaching nine varsity sports: track, baseball, basketball, football, cross-country, volleyball, swimming, tennis, and golf. Just to keep busy, Roger also coached three junior high school sports and two girls’ sports and also served as athletic director, intramural director, head of the physical education department, and president of the Aliquippa Education Association. Roger also coached cross country at the Community College of Beaver County, but he is best known for his strong Aliquippa High School track and cross country teams of the late 1940s and 1950s and 1960s. His Quip harriers captured two consecutive AAU senior cross country championships in 1945 and 1946 and also produced two WPIAL Junior High basketball champions. Some of the top athletes Roger coached were: Johnny Smisko, PIAA javelin champion; Willie Tipper and Jerome Sellars, PIAA broad jump champions; Matt Giles, who held the state 100 yard dash record of 9.7 seconds; and cross country champion Tom Sargeson. Roger was a star athlete himself, winning letters in football, basketball, and track during his senior year at old Woodlawn High School. He played two years of varsity football, basketball, and baseball at Shippensburg State College before transferring to Penn State, where he graduated in 1927. He was active in many civic affairs and helped organize the Aliquippa Community Basketball League in 1932.