Former Keith basketball coach gets inducted into AHSAA Hall of Fame
Published 3:48 pm Friday, March 31, 2023
By Travis Gupton
The Selma Times-Journal
Dallas County had a strong showing last Monday at the 2023 AHSAA Hall of Fame induction ceremony, producing three inductees. One of those inductees was Selma native Ronald Jackson. Jackson graduated from Dallas County High School in 1977 before moving to college at the University of Southern Mississippi five years later.
Jackson began his coaching career in 1985 at Monroe County as the girls’ basketball coach. From that point, he won over 1,000 high school basketball games and captured five state titles.
In his three years at Monroe, he was 52-15. His team made the state tournament semifinals every year with him at the reigns. In the 1986-87 season, Jackson got his first taste of the big dance when his team went 21-3.
Jackson eventually moved closer to home and coached at Keith High School for two years as the boys’ head coach. In his two seasons with the Bears, he again took a team to the state tournament semifinals. The stop in Keith was short as Jackson moved to what became his longest stay in the 1990-91 season, taking over the boys’ basketball program at T.R Miller High School. He coached the boys’ squad for nine years. In those nine years, one of his teams made it to the state semifinals. In 1992 Jackson took over the girls’ program as well and coached both the boys and girls for seven years.
It was the girls’ program that brought the most success for Jackson at T.R. Miller. His first girls’ team to coach went 17-2, won the Area, advancing to the quarterfinals of the state tournament. Jackson had the opportunity to coach his daughters during his time as the head man for T.R. Miller’s girl’s basketball. Brewton City Schools Superintendent Kenneth Varner said that Jackson has a way to organize the game that most coaches don’t have.
“Coach Jackson is a master at organizing all aspects of the program,” Varner said in an interview with the AHSAA. “He well understands not just the ‘X’s’ and ‘O’s’ of basketball, but also the motivation, the marketing, the coaching of his players and the leadership of this coaches.”
Since his first girls’ team made the state tournament they have won 23 area championships. Fourteen of those teams made it to the state tournament semifinals and four won the state title.
Jackson not only cared about the titles and the awards he was concerned about teaching his players important skills that can be used in life once basketball was over.
“Coach Jackson skillfully crafted a program for perpetual success built upon several foundational blocks,” Varner said. “He prioritizes placing the team above the individual, recognizing that every player on the team adds worth and value to the success of the program.”