Jones may be out as Dover football coach; job posted online

Dover coach Dante Jones by .

Dante Jones

DOVER — Dante Jones apparently won’t be returning for a fourth season as Dover High’s football coach.

The Capital School District began advertising the position on its website on Friday.

It’s still possible that Jones could reapply for the job but he wasn’t available for comment on Friday.

The former Delaware State defensive back is only the fourth man to serve as the Senators’ head football coach since the late 1980s. He’s part of a group that includes Jim Oxford, Darwin Manges and Carlton Brown.

In his three seasons, Jones led Dover to an overall record of 16-16 with a 9-9 mark in the Henlopen Conference Northern Division.

The Senators, though, have gone through back-to-back losing seasons. They were 2-4 in the North, 4-6 this past season.

In Jones’ first year, Dover finished 9-3 (5-1 in the North) and reached the DIAA Division I state semifinals before losing in overtime to Salesianum.

Since Jones was hired, the Capital School District has a new superintendent while Dover High has a new principal and athletic director.

Dover is also advertising its head coaching positions in boys’ soccer and volleyball. Veteran soccer coach Paul Booton, who is also the girls’ soccer head coach, said he planned on reapplying for his position with the boys’ program.

The coaching openings will be posted for 10 days. First-year Dover principal, Dr. Courtney Voshell, said the school hopes to have the jobs filled as soon as possible.

“We have a state-of-the-art facility here,” she said. “We’re looking for someone who has experience in building a program to be the best in the state.

“I’m new to the job this year so this is my first go-through with supervising athletics. We have high expectations and want the best person for the job — maybe new, maybe not.”

As has been the case in the past, Voshell said a committee would be involved in interviewing candidates before a coach is selected.

“Especially with football, because it is something that a lot of people look forward to, we will definitely be soliciting some members from our community as well as parents, students and other coaches to be on the committee,” she said. “It will definitely be something that we take very seriously and are excited to see who comes to the table.”

The 40-year-old Jones was previously the coach at Baltimore’s Edmondson High. He led the Red Storm to the Maryland Class 2A state title in 2006.

In 2012, Edmondson finished 11-2 and reached the state 2A semifinals.

As things stand now, Jones’ last game at Dover will be a 24-16 victory over Caesar Rodney in November. It was the second straight year the Senators beat the rival Riders.

“You’re only as good as your last game,” Jones said at the time. “It’s always good to finish the season off with a win. It’s not the season we wanted to have but we got to send the seniors out on a high note. That was most important.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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