Jackson named Dragons coach
PROCTORVILLE — Football has always been in Rashad Jackson’s blood, and coaching was always in his heart.
Jackson’s heart will have his football blood really pumping after being named the head coach of the Fairland Dragons.
Jackson, 25, is a native of Belle Glade, Florida. His father Rickey Jackson is an NFL Hall of Fame linebacker who played for the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers including their 1994 Super Bowl championship season.
As a defensive back for Marshall, Jackson played in 22 games and had seven interceptions including one interception return for a touchdown.
He was recruited as a quarterback but played three seasons in the secondary. His experience on both sides of the ball will help him with the Dragons’ overall program.
“Coaching was in my mind. I’ve wanted to be a coach since I was a little kid,” said Jackson.
“Charles Walker was my little league coach. He taught me the right things to do as far as on the field and off the field. He showed me how to be a man and how coaching can impact a man. The kids just called him dad. I just admired him for being the man that he was.”
Jackson was the Dragons’ secondary coach last season under Cullen Homolka who left to take a job at North Carolina State. Homolka recommended Jackson for the job.
Fairland was 7-4 last season under Holmolka and won the Ohio Valley Conference. The Dragons qualified for the Division V playoffs only to lose in the first round to Wheelersburg.
Holmolka recommended Jackson for the job.
“I was expecting to get it. I had faith in God. I just prayed about it. If I get it, I get it if that’s what’s meant to be,” said Jackson.
The Dragons lost some key players from that team, but several top players will return to form a nucleus including quarterback Chance Short, running back Nathan Campbell and lineman Tyler Campbell.
Short threw for more than 3,000 yards last season as Fairland averaged 45.1 points a game. Jackson doesn’t plan a lot of changes.
“We’ll run pretty much the same things. A lot of things that work, we’ll keep. Some of the things I think we should have done, I’ll put my twist on,” said Jackson.
“I’ll work on both sides. I know defense through college. I played quarterback coming up through little league. I’ll pretty much oversee all of it. We put together a game plan as coaches and be on the same page.”
As for coaching, Jackson said “it’s a copy cat league no matter what you do. I’ll have my twist. I won a state title in high school. When we needed two yards, this is what we did. When we needed a big play, this is what we did. I’ll take some things I did and I learned,” said Jackson.
With a littlee more than a week already on the job, Jackson said the players have responded well.
“I met with players and we’re in the weight room every day. We have about 30 guys in the weight room every day. Some are in baseball and track. They come in early for at least 30 minutes a day,” said Jackson.