Darren Doyle, Edmonson Voice
ECHS Athletic Director Kyle Pierce introduced the new head coach for Lady Cat Basketball Tuesday night, but the new face was a familiar one, one that led the school to it's very first district title 21 years ago, Coach Kevin Jackson.
"Our girls have won three district championships in the past, and that's where I want our program to return to," said Pierce. "We want to move our program forward, and that's what I think Coach Jackson will do for us."
The ECHS auditorium was full of Lady Cats, parents, staff members, and faculty as Jackson addressed the crowd and summarized what his plans would be for the upcoming season, and he said he wanted to get started on those immediately.
"Some people say you're crazy when you retire after 30 years in education and then want to keep doing what you do (coaching)," Jackson said. "Well, I enjoy helping to develop and being a part of young ladies' lives."
Jackson reminisced about old times, the good years in Lady Cat Basketball, when as head coach the team won district championships in '94, '95, and '98, however, he didn't talk about them very long as he moved on to the upcoming season and what he wanted this team to accomplish now.
"We don't talk too much about winning," he added. "Winning takes care of itself if you do the other things right. There's no magic wand when it comes to turning a program around. It takes two things: hard work and fundamentals, and that's what we'll start on next week."
You could've heard a pin drop during the next 20 minutes with all eyes and ears on the new head coach as he laid out his plan for the approaching season. Jackson was motivating, entertaining, caring, and passionate as he outlined the new expectations for Lady Cat Basketball.
Jackson first arrived in Edmonson County in 1989 where he was the boys' freshmen and JV coach and varsity assistant. He took over duties of head coach for the girls in 1992 and stayed there for 11 seasons. He said it was good to be back home.
"I spent 23 great years here (as a teacher and coach)," he said. "It's always good to come back and see friendly faces. I had a lot of calls and texts from supporters that encouraged me to take over the program and that made me feel good."
Although Jackson admitted that he'd matured as a person and coach over the years, which had brought some changes in his life, some things haven't changed at all. "I think basketball is basketball," he said. "Fundamentals is the key to success. I know teams press more now and some other things, and we'll adjust accordingly to be competitive and successful, but I still think fundamentals are key."
Editor's note: I played for Coach Jackson as a freshman and sophomore, and after 25 years I still hold the same respect for him as a person and coach. I personally think ECHS has made a great hire and we wish Coach Jackson, his staff, and Lady Cat basketball nothing but the best.