Selma’s Jackson nears 700 career victoriesPublished 6:46pm Thursday, December 26, 2013
Selma head coach Woodie Jackson continues to chase a seventh state championship, but he’s also quickly approaching a career milestone that many coaches can only dream about.
Jackson, a hall of famer who has won six state championships, is two victories away from 700 career coaching wins.
“To win 700 games, that’s a lot of games,” Jackson said.
He won a state championship in his first season coaching in 1978 at Westside High School. His other five championships came at Francis Marion, who he coached to championships in 1988-1991 and 2000.
“To coach in so many different decades has been a thrill and we are still very excited about what we are doing,” Jackson said.
With a career record of 698-329, Jackson was inducted into the Alabama High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2010. He also coached the East to a victory in the 2008 McDonald’s All-America Game.
Jackson said winning a state championship in his first year “spoiled” him in winning, but he still understands how hard it is to capture a state championship.
“There are so many coaches that have been coaching a lifetime and have never gone to the state,” Jackson said while pointing out how blessed he has been in his coaching career.
Jackson didn’t have to wait long to win his first championship, but he did have to wait a few years before winning his second.
“We worked hard and we won it the first season and it wasn’t very long before we went back to the state several times,” Jackson said. “We didn’t win it again until ’88. We have been blessed to go to the state eleven times and we are blessed to come back with six state championships.”
He has won a state championship in four different decades, one of his proudest accomplishments.
Although his venue has changed, Jackson said the formula for winning a state championship hasn’t changed much over the years.
“At this level, 5A, you have to have some talented players and you need some size,” Jackson said.
Now at Selma, Jackson continues to coach in hopes of getting back to the state championship level.
“We are going to work to see if we can get there,” Jackson said. “We have been close several times and since I have been here in Selma we have won the area three times and been to the regional four times.”
The only time Jackson’s Saints didn’t play in the regional tournament was last season, but he expects a different result this year.
“This is the year we are going to try to get there,” Jackson said. “We are going to keep plugging and we are going to keep working.”
Jackson also coached in the first Alabama-Mississippi All-star Classic in 1991 and he coached it again in 2000. Including the McDonald’s All-America game, Jackson has won every all-star game he has ever coached. At Selma, he has totaled 102 of his 698 career wins.
Eugene Mason, who coached at R. C. Hatch High School for 40 years, has the most wins in Alabama high school basketball history with 919 wins.