Jones joins Spoo’s staff

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Being a successful football program has its upside and its downside. One of the drawbacks of winning a lot of football games is that the coaching staff undergoes a lot of changes.

One of the changes that Eastern’s head football coach Bob Spoo will be faced with is the addition of Edmund Jones to his staff as the new defensive secondary coach.

Jones replaces Ron Lambert, who moved to in-state rival Illinois State, as the new coach to a secondary that was one of the nation’s best in I-AA.

“We realize that this is a business, and we know that being successful in football makes other schools want your assistants,” Spoo said. “But even though we lost coach Lambert, we are pleased with the guy who took over for him in coach Jones.”

Spoo said Lambert, who led the defensive secondary and was a key in the Panthers’ success in recruiting players out of Florida, left because of a better salary offer from ISU.

“To put it simply coach Lambert had a better offer for himself down there,” Spoo said. “There are a lot of schools that can offer top dollar. We tried to counter offer, but it just didn’t work out.”

Jones, who was a restricted earnings coach for the Panthers last season and was a defensive coordinator for the Toronto Phantoms in the Arena Football league, will have the advantage of not having to learn the entire defensive system because of his experience from last season.

“We have known Edmund for some time and we are aware of what he can do,” Spoo said. “What’s nice is that he was with us last season and I was happy to have a coach like him to put it that spot.

“The best thing about having coach Jones is that we know have a bunch of guys coaching our defense that have been defensive coordinators at one time or another in their careers.”