Tony Hughes returns to his alma mater, where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1980 and was a member of the Golden Eagle football during the 1977 and 1978 seasons. His first collegiate assignment came as a graduate assistant for the Golden Eagles during 1984-85.
He then spent a year as a secondary coach at Philadelphia (Miss.) High School in 1985, following that stop with a stint at South Natchez High School from 1986 to 1988 where he was the secondary coach as well as the boys track coach. Hughes then moved to Hattiesburg High from 1988 to 1992, where he became the offensive coordinator as well as coaching the offensive backs and receivers. He then moved to the collegiate ranks, where he was a secondary coach and administrative assistant at West Alabama for a year.
From there, Hughes worked at Hinds Community College from 1993 until 2003, filling the capacity of secondary coach for nine years, before moving over to defensive coordinator in his final season. During his tenure at Hinds, Hughes coaches eight players who have gone on to play in the NFL, including 2002 Heisman Trophy runner-up Brad Banks, Fred Smoot and Jerome McDougle. In addition, he served as the men's track coach at Hinds.
Hughes then worked at Louisiana Tech from 2003 until 2005, where he worked with the defensive backs in 2003, before moving to outside linebackers in 2004. During his time at Tech, Hughes coached Jerron Wishom, who signed with the Green Bay Packers.
The last stop for Hughes came at Ole Miss where he spent three seasons. The first two as part of the Rebel staff came during the 2005 and 2006 campaigns, where he was the defensive backs coach. He worked with Trumaine McBride, who now is a member of the Chicago Bears. He was also named one of the Top 25 college football recruiters by Rivals.com in the spring of 2006.
Hughes, and wife Marion, have two sons, Jamison and Jay.