Kurt Schmissrauter, A Former Alabama Teammate Of South Alabama Coach

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - by John Shearer

Many football fans will literally be trying to keep up with the Joneses this Saturday when South Alabama plays Tennessee at Neyland Stadium, due to the fact that Butch Jones coaches the Vols and Joey Jones coaches the Jaguars.

But Kurt Schmissrauter of Chattanooga has been keeping up with the South Alabama coach for more than 30 years, as the two were former teammates at Alabama in the early 1980s.

Mr. Schmissrauter recalled this week that Coach Joey Jones was one of the late Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s favorite players.

A wide receiver from Mobile, where South Alabama is located, Coach Jones was known as fast. However, he was also short for a Southeastern Conference player, but he apparently did not let that slow him down.

“Joey was small in stature but a very gutsy and fast receiver,” Mr. Schmissrauter recalled.

Like many coaches, Coach Bryant admired players who were determined not to let physical limitations stop them on a football field, so he naturally took a liking to him.

“Joey Jones was definitely a favorite of Coach Bryant,” said Mr. Schmissrauter, who was an offensive lineman at Alabama from 1980-83. “I remember kidding Joey on many occasions about how Coach Bryant would refer to him on his football show each week.

“Coach would say, ‘Little Joey Jones from Mobile, Ala., he’s a fine youngster.’ I am sure Joey got sick of me saying that to him daily.”

Joey Jones’ Alabama team played at Neyland Stadium in 1980, winning 27-0 in a rainstorm, and the Crimson Tide also beat Tennessee, 38-19, at Birmingham’s Legion Field in 1981.

However, when Tennessee came back to Knoxville in 1982 after Coach Jones had become a star receiver, the Vols defeated the Crimson Tide, 35-28, for the first victory over Alabama since 1970.

This week Coach Jones recalled in an interview that Neyland Stadium was the loudest stadium he remembered, and he was likely thinking to 1982, when Vol fans tore down the goal posts.

Tennessee also beat Alabama, 41-34, in Birmingham in 1983 when Mr. Schmissrauter and Coach Jones were seniors playing under first-year coach Ray Perkins after Coach Bryant had retired the previous December and died a few weeks later.

But the Alabama losses were apparently not due to Coach Jones’ speed.

Mr. Schmissrauter remembers one time when a pro scout came to team workouts and timed all the seniors in the 40-yard dash. The timing was done on a grass field, and many of the players were not even wearing cleats.

However, Joey Jones managed to impress with a swift time of 4.029 seconds.

“Joey’s time was pretty remarkable considering it was on wet grass and he was in tennis shoes,” said Mr. Schmissrauter, who settled back in Chattanooga after playing and works for the family printing and packaging business, TPC.

“It was the fastest most of us had ever seen.”

Coach Jones, who made all-SEC in 1983, continued to move fast after Alabama, at least up the professional coaching ladder.

After starting out as a player in the United States Football League, he became head coach at Dora, Ala., High beginning in 1991.

He later served as head coach at Mountain Brook High in the Birmingham area. In 2006, he became a college head coach at Birmingham-Southern before helping South Alabama field its first team during the 2009 season after beginning work the year before.

His overall record at South Alabama is 27-16. This year, the team is 2-1, with wins over Tulane and Western Kentucky, the latter of which Tennessee also defeated earlier this year.

Mr. Schmissrauter, who still stays in contact with Coach Jones and even knows his cell number, said his former Alabama teammate actually interviewed for the Baylor School coaching job before coach Phil Massey was hired before the 2006 season.

If he had taken the job or been hired and was still coaching the Red Raiders, one of his players would be Jon Schmissrauter, the youngest son of Kurt and Julie Schmissrauter and a junior offensive lineman at Baylor.

Instead, Coach Jones will once again be returning to a loud Neyland Stadium for a 12:21 p.m. kickoff Saturday.

Jcshearer2@comcast.net


Klaus Named Lee University Softball Assistant

Andrew Klaus has accepted the position of assistant softball coach at Lee University and he becomes the university’s first full-time assistant softball coach. The native of Clarkston, Mich. served as an assistant coach at Oklahoma Panhandle State University for one year before moving to East Central University and serving as the Oklahoma school’s assistant coach for the past ... (click for more)

UTC Women's Football Clinic A Success

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga head football coach Russ Huesman and his wife, Amy, hosted the fifth annual Women’s Football Clinic at Finley Stadium Friday evening.  The event helps fund Huesman's Huddle, a very popular allotment of tickets donated by Mocs fans, alumni and supporters that are used to provide free admission to home football games to underprivileged ... (click for more)

Black Creek Developers Say They "Followed The Rules" On $9 Million TIF: To Continue Project

The developers of the Black Creek project at Aetna Mountain said Thursday they "complied precisely by the rules when we applied for and received approval of the TIF district." Doug Stein said the group plans to continue on with the project, which he said earlier would include the creation of a small town on a huge undeveloped tract on the mountain above Black Creek (formerly ... (click for more)

WTCI Says Fleischmann Ad Included Unauthorized Use Of Logo

Officials of WTCI TV said a Chuck Fleischmann TV ad contained an unauthorized use of the public TV station's logo. Officials stated in a letter to WTCI viewers: "We understand that members of our community may have received a printed communication from the Chuck Fleischmann for Congress Committee featuring the headline "Weston Wamp Supports Amnesty for Illegal Immigration." ... (click for more)

Cell Phones And Roundabouts

I read the article written by Chris Morgan about the use of cell phones in vehicles and the Chattanooga Roundabouts. Cell phone use in vehicles especially in crisis intersection situations is extremely dangerous. I also agree with his assessment about the roundabouts. One problem I see with roundabouts is that on the two-lane roundabouts where they are coming in from ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Two Wrongs Not Right

Scottie Mayfield is a delightful friend of mine but he’s the last guy in the world who should be aiming at anybody’s character. He’s always had class but today Scottie is the “star” of a shameful political commercial in which he assails challenger Weston Wamp on behalf of a panicked Chuck Fleischmann. Mayfield, you’ll remember, ran against the two in the last race for the District ... (click for more)