Tennessee’s first-ever 1,000-yard rusher, Johnnie Jones, was honored in his hometown of Munford with a street bearing his name during a celebration on Thursday.
The street that leads to the youth football field in Munford was renamed 33 Johnnie Jones Drive in his honor.
Jones’ head coach with the Vols, Johnny Majors, spoke at the ceremony and his UT teammates, Tony Robinson and Phil Stuart, also attended the event along with longtime Tennessee administrators Carmen Tegano and Roger Frazier.
Approximately 300 people attended the ceremony held at Munford High School.
“I had really been looking forward to the event, but it was even better than I expected, and I’m really appreciative,” Jones said.
“Coach Majors talked about how competitive he is and how he hated that I broke all of his records, but he enjoyed giving me the ball.”
Jones was an outstanding running back at Tennessee from 1981 to 1984.
He became the first Tennessee player ever to rush for 1,000 yards in a season in 1983 and is still the only Vol with two 1,000 yard seasons. He rushed for 1,116 yards in 1983 and 1,290 yards in 1984. His 2,852 career rushing yards still ranks fourth in UT history. He totaled 517 carries, 19 rushing touchdowns and finished with 13 100-yard games.
“I was just thinking about the other day how many great running backs have come through the University of Tennessee and I was the first to get 1,000 yards,” Jones said. “It’s amazing and I’m truly grateful to everybody at UT.”
Jones was a Second Team All-American in 1984 and earned First Team All-SEC honors in 1983 and 1984..
The Seattle Seahawks selected Jones in the fifth round of the 1985 NFL Draft with the 137th overall pick. After stints with the Seahawks and the Houston Oilers, he had a two-year career in the Canadian Football League, playing for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 1987-88.
Before starring at UT, Jones had a legendary career at Munford High School, rushing for 4,547 yards and 47 touchdowns and earning consensus all-state honors and All-South honorable mention accolades as a senior.