Following my first season on the football beat, there was some turnover at the Alligator. When a colleague of mine moved on, he asked me if I wanted to take over his coro job at the Florida Today. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity. It was not going to be much additional work and I was going to be able to work with one of the most respected individuals in the industry, David Jones.
However, I was warned that Jones could be a temperamental boss to work for. And while I valued the advice of people that knew him, I figured since I was such a likeable guy, I’d have no problem. I was wrong. Although the first part of our season together went smoothly, we had a disagreement. It all started when Ron Zook got fired, had that never happened, I would have been fine.
Despite the deterioration of our relationship, I appreciated the time we spent working together and the insight I received from him during the time we were getting along. It is rare for a college-aged reporter to get a chance to work firsthand with one of the industry’s true greats. I observed the way he asked questions, dealt with personalities and handled himself with the other writers. It was as if he had it all figured out and was playing a game with everyone else. I took my experience with him and the Florida Today as a learning experience and used it to help form my future plans.