Lam Jones Bio
John Wesley “Lam” Jones (April 4, 1958 – March 15, 2019) was an American sprinter. He won a gold medal in the 4×100 meter relay at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. He was also an American football wide receiver in the National Football League for the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at the University of Texas.
Lam Jones Trivia Quick Info
|Lam Jones Quick Wiki/Bio|
|Born:||April 4, 1958
|Died:||March 15, 2019 (aged 60)|
|Height:||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight:||190 lb (86 kg)|
|High school:||Lampasas (TX)|
|NFL Draft:|| 1980 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
Lam Jones Early years
Jones attended Lampasas High School. In his football career he scored 45 touchdowns and was named All-state as a senior. In track as a junior, he was the state champion in the 440-yard dash with a time of 47.6 seconds.
He is considered legendary in Texas high school sports history for his performance in the mile relay at the 1976 U.I.L. State Track and Field Meet. Running anchor for Class 3A Lampasas High School, Jones took the baton in last place, reportedly 40 to 60 yards behind the leaders, and passed the entire field for victory. The run has taken on near-mythical status among those who saw it — or claim to have seen it.
Before enrolling at the University of Texas, at the age of 18, he qualified for the 4 × 100 metres relay, becoming the youngest athlete from Texas to earn a berth on the U.S. Olympic track and field team. In the 1976 Summer Olympics, he won a gold medal running the second leg of the 4×100 team that set a world record with a time of 38.33 seconds. He also replaced an injured Houston McTear on the U.S. team and finished sixth in the 100 meters. He returned home as a national celebrity.
In 2008, he was inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame. In 2013, he was inducted into the Texas Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame.
Lam Jones College career
Jones accepted a football scholarship from the University of Texas to play under head coach Darrell Royal. As a freshman running back, he posted 118 carries for 624 yards (second on the team to Earl Campbell), a 5.3-yard avg., 5 touchdowns and 3 receptions for 79 yards (third on the team).
As a sophomore, new head coach Fred Akers changed the offense and he was moved to wide receiver. Akers nicknamed him “Lam” because he was from Lampasas and to differentiate him from teammate Johnny “Ham” Jones, who was from Hamlin, Texas. He led the team with 21 receptions for 543 yards (25.9-yard avg.), 7 touchdowns and 9 carries for 30 yards (3.3-yard avg.).
As a junior, he led the team with 25 receptions for 446 yards (17.8-yard avg.), 5 touchdowns, 15 carries for 128 yards (8.5-yard avg.) and one rushing touchdown. As a senior, he led the team with 36 receptions for 535 yads (14.9-yard avg.), 2 touchdowns, 14 carries for 68 yards (4.9-yard avg.).
Jones played wide receiver in run-oriented offenses, usually being double-teamed and some times triple-teamed by opposing defenses. In his football career he averaged 28 receptions per season, 18.9-yards per catch with 14 touchdowns. He ranks 10th on the school All-time all-purpose yardage list (3,042). He also is one of only three players in Longhorn history to rush for 100 yards in a game and also have a 100-yard receiving game.
In his freshman track season, he won the 100 metres in 9.85 seconds, which would have been a world record if it hadn’t been hand-timed. When converted into automatic timing (10.14 seconds) it ranked as the fastest 100 metres in school history. His times of 9.21 seconds for the 100-yard dash and 20.14 seconds for 220-yard dash set records for Memorial Stadium. He also won 4 events (100, 220, 440 relay and mile relay) at the Southwest Conference meet. At the NCAA championships, Jones completed a grueling 16-month season by finishing second in the 100 metreswith 10.27 seconds and seventh in the 200 metres in 20.85 seconds, with track observers noting he looked worn out.
As a sophomore in track, football injuries began to impact his performances. He ran a hand-timed 10.1 seconds in the 100 metres. He won his first-round heat at the NCAA championships in 10.14 seconds, but he failed to qualify for the NCAA final.
In 1994, he was inducted into the Texas Athletics Hall of Honor. He is considered to be one of the greatest athletes in school history.
Lam Jones Professional career
Lam Jones New York Jets
In the 1980 NFL Draft the New York Jets were targeting offensive tackle Anthony Munoz with the second overall pick they obtained from the San Francisco 49ers, but settled for Jones after their team physician recommended not to take Munoz, who failed a physical exam because he had undergone reconstructive knee surgery. The selection was acquired by trading two 1980 first round draft picks (#13-Earl Cooper and #20-Jim Stuckey). Jones was ranked as the best wide receiver in the draft.
The $2.1 million contract he received was the first in the NFL worth over a million dollars. There were reports in the media that the actual contract numbers may have been lower, which included a $250,000 signing bonus, plus a $200,000 loan, and a $300,000 deferred bonus, for a total package of $1.4 million.
As a rookie, he started 13 games, making 25 receptions for 482 yards (19.3-yard avg.) and 3 touchdowns. Since Jones was a world-class sprinter with elite speed, he could beat any coverage, but had trouble catching the football. He was viewed more as an athlete than a football player.
In 1981, he was a backup behind Derrick Gaffney, starting only 3 out of 15 games, while collecting 20 receptions for 342 yards (17.1-yard avg.) and 3 touchdowns.
In 1982, the season was reduced from a 16-game schedule to 9 contests because of the player’s strike. He started 7 out of 8 games, finishing with 18 receptions for 294 yards (16.3-yard avg.) and 2 touchdowns.
In 1983, he had his best season with 7 starts out of 14 games, along with 43 receptions for 734 yards (17.1-yard avg.) and 4 touchdowns. He catched 31 of his career-high 43 passes in the final 8 contests.
In 1984, he was placed on the injured reserve list on August 28, spending 11 weeks there with a broken collarbone he suffered in the first preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He was activated on October 26, starting 8 out of 8 games, but was platooned with Gaffney communicating plays from the sideline to quarterback Ken O’Brien. He made 32 receptions for 470 yards (14.7-yard avg.) and one touchdown.
In 1985, he re-injured his right index finger during a practice and was lost for the year after being placed on the injured reserve list on August 15. In 1986, he sat out the season with a hamstring injury after being placed on the injured reserve list on August 19.
On July 23, 1987, he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for a 1988 fifth round draft pick (#131-Dennis Price). He left after playing in 61 games (37 starts), recording 138 receptions for 2,322 yards and 13 touchdowns. During his career, he was considered a first round disappointment, criticized for his inconsistency and inability to make catches across the middle of the field.
Lam Jones Dallas Cowboys
On August 25, 1987, he was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Cowboys, who were experiencing multiple injuries in the receiving corps.
After the players went on a strike on the third week of the 1987 season, those contests were canceled (reducing the 16 game season to 15) and the NFL decided that the games going forward would be done using replacement players. He crossed the picket line off the injured reserve to be a part of the Dallas replacement team that was given the mock name “Rhinestone Cowboys” by the media. On October 21, he was released after the strike ended. He didn’t appear in any game or record any stat during his time with the team.
Lam Jones Personal life
After his football career, Jones battled drug and alcohol addiction, which started in high school. A hazing incident as an NFL rookie was an omen of things to come. When veterans took him out drinking, the group started downing shots. Unbeknownst to Jones, the vets were drinking soft drinks while pouring him liquor. His troubles with drugs continued after his NFL career until a sexual molestation incident caused him to go to rehab. He recovered and went on to speak about addiction to high school athletes to help them avoid the same problems.
The once shy Jones became a motivational speaker for high school athletes, sharing his story of hardship as part of his message. He donated part of his speaking fees to the Texas Special Olympics, to which he also donated his Olympic medal in the late 1970s.
In 2005, Jones was diagnosed with myeloma cancer that affects bone marrow in the legs. He died of myeloma in 2019.
Jese Bal born Nov 9, 1982, is a novelist and poet. He has published novels, volumes of poetry, short stories, and drawings. His works are distinguished by the use of a spare style and have been compared to those of Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino.