Jones exits Bragg booth
[subtitle]Announcer was there for 30 years[/subtitle]
By Sean Sanders
After 30 years, Kenneth Jones is trading his seat in the announcer’s booth for a seat in the stands.
Jones has been the “Voice of Bragg Stadium” from the press box for every game since 1987. There were many Saturday afternoons when he watched the Rattlers struggle on the field.
But none compared to the first home game of the 2015 season when Jones took to Bragg Stadium only a few days after his father died last September.
Jones’ father lived in the same house where he grew up on Conklin Street, just blocks from Bragg. On many Saturdays, he sat on his front porch listening to his son’s detailed description of each play.
“My dad would have wanted me to stay at it,” said Jones, a generational Rattler and professor at FAMU. “I could never put the University in a bad spot either.”
Jones was so committed that he never missed a beat – even when he had to deal with the loss of his father. That wasn’t the only case in which Jones proved his loyalty to what he’d done so well for three decades.
After deciding that he wanted to retire in 2014, athletic administrators didn’t have to ask him twice to give it one more season.
He felt obligated.
“My mom would always say, if it weren’t for FAMU, where would we be,” said Jones.
Jones’ ties to FAMU began at birth. He was born at FAMU Hospital along with several other siblings. He began going to games as a child while his mother was a student at the university.
Being in the announcer’s booth at Bragg stadium was like being at home for Jones.
His approach to announcing was informative and entertaining. It wasn’t a solo act, though. Jones utilized John Spears a spotter, who would identify players on each play for Jones, allowing him to be accurate in his descriptions.
“He brings the electricity,” Spears said. “He is that voice.”
Jones and Spears have been friends since middle school and after Jones got the opportunity to announce at the games in 1987 it was a clear choice for him to have Spears to join in as his partner.
Jones is so good transitioning between his many hats, announcer to teacher that many of his students were shocked to know he was the voice that they have become accustomed to at the football games.
“I didn’t know then, it makes sense now though,” Marquavia Smith, a FAMU student. “That takes a real talent.”
While Jones is already preparing for the upcoming season with season tickets for him and his family, the athletics department is not far behind. A reality show has been made in order to find the new “Voice of Bragg.” The show will air this fall on Fox Sports.
“It’s been fun,” said Jones simply recounting his experiences as FAMU’s Voice of Bragg Stadium.