Freshman Johnny "Lam" Jones reacts after winning the 100-yard dash as the winning tape still hangs from his body in Austin on May 13, 1977. Jones ran a 9.42 on his way to winning the Southwest Conference Championship in the 100. Ed Malcik/ American-Statesman

BEVO BEAT Football

Black History Month at Texas: Johnny “Lam” Jones

Posted February 7th, 2020


Throughout Black History Month, the American-Statesman will take a daily look at the black athletes who have had a lasting impact in Texas’ athletic department. Today, we are writing about two-sport star Johnny “Lam” Jones.

Already a Lampasas legend due to his performance at the state track meet in 1976, Jones also had a historic run at Texas. From 1976-79, Jones was a letterman on the football team and he was twice named an All-American receiver. Jones’ 198 receiving yards in a 1979 win over Baylor was a school record for eight years. That total is now the fourth-best effort in the UT record books and Jones’ 14 career touchdown catches rank 12th. Jones is responsible for one of UT’s four 100-yard kickoff returns.

Jones also starred on the track at Texas. He owned the school’s outdoor record in the 100-meter dash (10.14 seconds) for 27 years and his 20.40-second run in the 200 meters was the UT standard for a decade. Before he got to Texas, Jones won a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics with the United States’ 400-meter relay team.


Read more: ‘I still can’t believe my eyes’ — Johnny ‘Lam’ Jones glides effortlessly into history books

Jones was selected by the New York Jets with the second pick in the 1980 NFL Draft. He went onto catch 138 footballs over five seasons in the NFL. Jones, 60, passed away in 2019 after a lengthy battle with multiple myeloma.

Black History Month at Texas: Julius Whittier

Black History Month at Texas: Roosevelt Leaks

Black History Month at Texas: Rodney Page

Black History Month at Texas: T.J. Ford

Black History Month at Texas: Sanya Richards-Ross

Black History Month at Texas: Lindsey Stephens

News on Bevo Beat is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of is included with an Austin American-Statesman subscription in addition to and the ePaper edition. Subscribe today at