Jones makes 11-year-old's day at UCF game

There are things more important than football, and June Jones knows that. Kelan Lawson, an 11-year-old with cerebral palsy, dreams of coaching SMU football one day. Jones learned of his wish and invited him to "help" him coach against UCF this weekend.

There are always things more important than football.

Though SMU's 38-17 win over reigning conference champs UCF Saturday was a sweet victory, to June Jones, the more rewarding part of the day was having 11-year-old Kelan Lawson on the sideline.

Lawson, who goes to Curtsinger Elementary in Frisco, has cerebral palsy and his dream job is to be the coach of the Mustangs.

Jones found out about him through a story on WFAA.com and invited him to come help him coach the UCF game.

Lawson spoke to the team Thursday evening, stayed at the team hotel Friday night and was on the sideline, smiling the whole time, Saturday afternoon.

This isn't the first time Jones has brought such an incredible act of kindness to his football team. He had a similar experience when he coached at Hawaii with Brian Kajiyama, who also has cerebral palsy. Kajiyama, a longtime Warriors fan, caught the attention of Jones and Jeff Reinebold, who is currently the Mustangs' receivers coach and was the defensive coordinator at Hawaii at the time. They made him a graduate assistant and he helped out with scouting reports.

ESPN did a special on Kajiyama and Lawson saw it and reached out to him. The two have become friends.

"Brian spoke to us at the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl and it was a very emotional speech," Jones said after the UCF game. "This kid [Lawson] saw that E:360 and has befriended Brian. I didn't know that [until this week].

"We go out and play the game, but it's really about those kind of things. I don't remember the first part of the game [today], but I'm not going to forget that little kid. That's really what makes this team kind of unique."


For more SMU coverage, follow Laken Litman on Twitter!

Pony Stampede Top Stories