Merv Jones

Merv Jones

Temple Athletics’ longtime public address announcer Mervyn H. Jones died Monday, June 1, 2020, after a long struggle with cancer. He was 54.

“All of Temple Athletics is in mourning due to the loss of a great man and Owl, Merv Jones,” Director of Athletics Patrick Kraft said in a written statement. “For three decades, Merv’s booming voice delivered the action of Temple football and basketball games to fans at Lincoln Financial Field, the Liacouras Center and McGonigle Hall. A Temple grad and former staff member, he was the consummate professional and beloved by our community. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Andrea, and two children Merven and Jayna.”

Former Temple basketball star John Baum, who is an analyst for the Owls’ radio broadcast, sat next to Jones during many basketball games at the Liacouras Center over the years. He said, “Merv was just a great broadcaster. He was very special. He was Temple through and through. His quality of work was No. 1. Just a great voice.”

Jones, a Philadelphia native, graduated from Central High School. He went on to Temple University and earned a bachelor’s degree in radio, television and film.

Jones’ first job was with the Emmy Award-winning, nationally syndicated sports series “Greatest Sports Legends” as a producer, director and writer. He worked with such athletes as Jim Brown, Deion Sanders, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Florence Griffith-Joyner and others. He produced the “Future Legends” series and co-produced the A&E series “The Gifted Ones.”

In 1993, Jones left “Greatest Sports Legends” and formed his own company, M.T. Pockets Productions, Inc. He ran the gamut of the entertainment industry, writing, producing and directing critically acclaimed work, such as “Doing Windows,” which was featured at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival’s screenwriters’ lab; “Can’t Wait,” a short film about sexuality as it is experienced through the eyes of an African-American teenage boy; and “Bills, Bills, Bills,” a comedy short that was featured in the 2001 IFP Market video library and the 2001 Toronto Film Festival.

Jones returned to Temple in 1998 as an adjunct professor and taught a course called “Racism in College Athletics.” He also took over as the public address announcer at Temple football and basketball games, and his voice quickly became a fixture for fans at home games.

Jones also served as the public address announcer for NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament games in 2006 and 2012, and the 2011 NCAA Women’s Basketball Philadelphia Regional game.

“He did a wonderful job with his voice carrying the Temple program,” said Temple head basketball coach Aaron McKie. “He was just a wonderful gentleman. His disposition and his way was always a sense of calm with him. He was great to be around. He was just a good person.”

In 2000, Jones joined the Temple athletics staff on a full-time basis, serving as an assistant director in the Owls’ media relations department. He worked directly with women’s volleyball, women’s lacrosse and women’s basketball. He stayed at Temple for four years, assisting the new women’s basketball coach and future Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Dawn Staley with her media efforts.

“Merv Jones was the only voice I’ve ever known or remembered while coaching on the TU sideline,” said Staley, who is now the head women’s basketball coach at the University of South Carolina, in a written statement. “His voice was heard by so many, but his heart touched so many more, including mine.”

Tina Sloan Green, former Temple lacrosse coach and Hall of Famer, was very impressed with Jones’ overall knowledge in sports.

“He did so much not only for basketball, but football, women’s and men’s sports,” she said. “He was very creative. He was loved and respected.”

In 2004, Jones left his position with Temple’s media relations department to work with Steve Rotfeld Productions in suburban Philadelphia. In that position, he co-created and produced the E/l series “Whaddyado” and “ChatRoom.” He also co-produced programs for cable networks, including “Really Reckless Drivers” and “Wild Weddings.”

Jones is survived by his wife, Andrea; two children, Merven and Jayna; parents, Mervin and Catherine; sisters, Angela and Kathy Beverly; brother, Andre; and other relatives.

Jones’ family plans to provide information on the details of his service at a later date.

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