Petey Jones, a longtime employee at Alexandria City Public Schools and a member of T.C. Williams High School’s legendary 1971 state championship team, has died, according to the school district. He was 65.
Jones, who retired Nov. 1, had worked as a school security officer for the district since 1989. In high school, he was a fullback on T.C. Williams’ 1971 team, whose championship run was dramatized in the 2000 Disney film “Remember the Titans.”
After his retirement last year, T.C. Williams Principal Pete Balas praised Jones: “He has been here to inspire and guide our students with compassion, integrity and kindness. … Petey is always generous with his time and wisdom with our guests, often leaving them in tears of emotion and joy.”
Actor Donald Faison portrayed Jones in the film. On Instagram, he said he cherished the opportunity to play the man on screen
“What really resonated with me was how much he loved the Titans,” Faison wrote.
“He did do something to make this earth a little better,” a former classmate and colleague of Jones told WTOP.
Bobby Trout was a few years behind Jones when they both attended T.C. Williams High School in the 1970s. Later, they both worked at the school and helped out with sports teams’ equipment.
“Petey, when he came to the school and (if) there was a child who didn’t have cleats for football…he would (buy some to) make sure that they had cleats,” Trout said.
“He was there. If you ever needed him, he would do anything in his ability to help you achieve it.”
Trout remembers the last school football game that Jones went to last year, noting that students hung around to hear Jones tell stories about the past.
“They lingered for that. They wanted to hear what history was about,” Trout said.
Trout believes Jones truly meant something to the community. “We’re better to know him. And, I’m honored to know him.”
Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.
WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report.