A Kansas high school boys basketball coach was killed in cruel circumstances late Thursday, dying in a local one-car crash less than a day before his team’s homecoming game.
As reported by the Wichita Eagle, among other sources, 71-year-old Kinsley-Offerle (Kan.) boys basketball coach Michael Jones was killed when his car veered off the road and struck both a wooden fence and large tree. According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, the impact of the wreck killed Jones, who was pronounced dead on the scene before being transported to a local hospital.
Jones’ death came on the evening before his team’s scheduled homecoming game against Midwinter. Despite the coach’s death, the school’s Midwinter events moved forward as scheduled, including the boys basketball game against Ellinwood, with the Coyotes dropping a 52-51 heartbreaker in overtime at home.
The Kinsley program paid tribute to Jones in a variety of ways during the game, including the in-arena messageboard testament you see above. In the end, it’s likely that memory and other tributes to Jones will endure far more resolutely than the final score.
Given the length and significance of Jones’ career, that seems only fitting.