Bo Jones assisted at Centennial for two seasons before spending the next five seasons at Reynolds, two as defensive coordinator.
Bo Jones assisted at Centennial for two seasons before spending the next five seasons at Reynolds, two as defensive coordinator.

No one has to tell Bo Jones about the coaching turnover for Reynolds football.

Since the days of Larry Keck, who coached the Raiders from 1968 to 1976, no one has spent more than five seasons as the team's head coach. That includes the last 12 coaches.

Jones, a 2012 Reynolds graduate, is hoping to end that streak. He has been hired to replace Kelly Murphy, who went 6-13 in the last two seasons.

“How cool would it be if I could be the next Chris Knudsen and coach at Reynolds for 40-plus years?” said Jones, referring to the longtime Centennial coach (1986-2017). “Leave a legacy and really change the program and create a culture and have something that lasts.

“Still being 29, I have a lot left to give, and really a long time that I can be in this. I relish the opportunity. I'd love to be a part of Reynolds for a long time.”

Jones was a three-year starter at linebacker for Reynolds before playing at College of the Redwoods and Humboldt State.(now Cal Poly Humboldt). He assisted at Centennial under Knudsen for two seasons, serving as the freshman defensive coordinator, and joined the staff at Reynolds in 2017.

With the Raiders, he coached running backs and linebackers, was the JV head coach and spent two seasons as the defensive coordinator before taking off last year.

Jones said that returning to Reynolds to be a part of the program has meant “everything” to him.

“Reynolds has been such a huge part of my life,” he said. “I remember as a little kid, with my dad taking me to football and basketball games, always just looking up to them. I couldn't wait to be there myself. To be able to give back to kids that have grown up in the same way that I did, and just be a part of the community, is huge to me.”

Jones has long aspired to be a head coach.

“Ever since I was a little kid,” he said. “Even when I played college football, I told my coaches one of the first weeks I was there, 'I want to soak up as much knowledge as I can from you guys, so when I finish playing football, I can begin my coaching career.'”

The Raiders haven't won a playoff game since 2018, when they went 7-4. They rebounded from going 2-7 in 2021 to finish 4-6 last year, losing to Liberty 35-0 in the first round of the 6A Columbia Cup.

Reynolds has the state's largest adjusted daily enrollment at 1,607, but had a football turnout of less than 60 last year. Jones said he expects the turnout to push 80 this season.

“We're going to be recruiting these guys,” he said. “We're going to do the best we can to have some fun. When they see that it's fun, it'll start to change. … I think it's looking up. I know a bunch of the kids are real excited that I'm coming back. We have a lot of new faces out.”

Like his predecessors, Jones talks of the potential of the Reynolds program. He believes his commitment and passion for the program will help the Raiders tap into that potential.

“People see Reynolds as more of a steppingstone to get somewhere else in their career,” he said. “For me, Reynolds is actually where I've always wanted to be. I wouldn't rather be anywhere else.”

Reynolds, which plays its home games up the street at Mt. Hood Community College, has discussed building its own stadium on campus. That talk has subsided of late, but Jones said he hopes “to get that ball rolling again.”

“At some point in my career, hopefully I can be here and be the head coach when that does happen,” he said. “I expect it will happen within the next 10 years. It would be huge.”