Fred Jonas was the head football coach and defensive coordinator at Texas A&I during one of the most successful Javelina eras. He served on the staff in 1967-76 and was the head coach in 1977 and 1978. He was inducted into the Javelina Hall of Fame in 2005.
During that 12-year period, the Javelinas posted a 108-26-1 record, won five national championships and captured eight Lone Star Conference titles
His defensive units consistently ranked at the top, or near the top, in all statistical categories in the NAIA and LSC.
The Javelinas produced some of its greatest defensive names with Jonas on the staff. First-team All-Americans included lineman Johnny Barefield, back Darrell Green, linebacker Larry Grunewald, lineman Margarito Guerrero, linebacker Don Hardeman, linebacker Andy Hawkins, lineman Mike Hawkins, lineman Ray Hickl, linebacker Jerry Janik, back Levi Johnson, back Al Matthews, lineman Ernest Price, back Jafus White and lineman Robert Young.
Javelina Hall of Fame inductees who played on the defensive unit for Jonas are Barefield, lineman Juan Castillo, Green, Grunewald, Guerrero, Hardeman, A. Hawkins, M. Hawkins, Hickl, back Jim Hill, linebacker Allen Kaiser, Matthews, back Larry Pullin, back Durwood Roquemore, lineman Carlos Saldana, back Ed Scott and Young.
Numerous defensive players between 1967-78 went on to professional football careers. Draftees in the period were Green, Hardeman, Hill and Price in the first round; Barefield and Matthews in the second round; back Doug Greene and Johnson in the third round; back Don Washington in the fourth round; lineman Larry Edwards in the fifth round; Roquemore in the sixth round; M. Hawkins in the seventh round and A. Hawkins and White in the 10th round.
Jonas, from Winters, played collegiate football at Hardin-Simmons. He coached at Lamesa High School in 1958-60 and at Corpus Christi Miller High School for five years before becoming head coach at Corpus Christi King High School in 1966.
After leaving the Javelinas, he coached one year at Sam Houston State, went into private business for two years, was at Houston Bellaire for three years and was on the staff at Angelo State for 18 years before his retirement two years ago.
He currently is on the coaching staff of the San Angelo Stampeders of the National Indoor Football League.
Jonas is married to the former Marty Gonzalez of El Paso. He is the father of four daughters, Jenny, Julee, Jypsy and Jessica, and a son, Mano.
He resides in San Angelo.