The Lynn Camp community is mourning the loss of longtime coach and teacher Richard Jones today.
Jones, affectionately called “Birddog” by many of his friends and acquaintances, had served as a coach and educator at Lynn Camp Schools for many years, but was most well-known as the face of the LCHS Lady Cats basketball program. Under his guidance, the Lady Cats became district champions and represented their school in 13th Region tournament competition.
Knox County Schools Superintendent Kelly Sprinkles issued a press release Wednesday afternoon, saying, “It is with great sorrow that I inform you that Coach Richard Jones, a longtime educator and girls basketball coach at Lynn Camp Schools, passed away this morning following a battle with kidney cancer.”
“To his family, I extend my condolences on the loss of a husband, father, and great man. Coach Jones was the face of Lynn Camp Schools in many ways, proudly supporting the Wildcats both athletically and academically. His reach extended beyond the school walls and into the community. Coach Jones will be greatly missed by all.”
The press release went on to say that funeral arrangements will be conducted at Lynn Camp Schools in Corbin, and more information would be provided when available.
Lynn Camp Schools made an announcement of its own via its official Facebook page, saying, “Lynn Camp has suffered a huge loss this morning. Coach Jones will be missed greatly. We ask that you please remember our students, staff, and his family in your prayers. Coach Jones was a big part of Lynn Camp and has touched many lives. He will be missed.”
Since Jones’ passing, many of his friends, family, co-workers and former players have taken to social media to express their love and support. Former Lady Cat Brooklyn Bryant said of her former coach, “He was the best man that I knew. He would give you the shirt off his back whether you needed it more than him or not. To me, he was a father figure. Coming from a broken home, that was special to me. Whether it was taking me to the beach, or letting me cry on his shoulder when I couldn’t play because of my broken leg. I’ve had some loss in my 20 years of living, but this one has probably hit me the hardest. We all miss him so much.”
Jones passed early Wednesday surrounded by family at UK Hospital in Lexington.