Jeff Jackson Named Softball Head Coach

NACOGDOCHES, Texas- Athletics Director, Ryan Ivey announced the hiring of Jeff Jackson as the new head softball coach, Tuesday morning. “I am extremely excited to welcome Jeff, Jessica, Parker and Connor to SFA and Nacogdoches.  When we began this process, we set out looking for someone that would continue the momentum of our softball program.  We wanted someone that understood and would embrace our AXEEM core values, and would focus on providing leadership and stability to our softball program, and most importantly, our student-athletes.  I am confident that we found all of that in Jeff Jackson,” said Ivey. “Jeff’s background is full of success on the diamond, in the classroom and in the community.  He has built and elevated programs to consistent, national success, and I am confident he will do the same at SFA.  The future is bright for SFA softball.”

Jackson was the head coach at Odessa College for the past six seasons. Last season, Jackson led the Wrangers to a 54-6 record and an appearance in the 2023 NJCAA DI Softball World Series Semifinals for the second season in a row. The 2022 season was historic for the Wranglers as they finished 3rd in the NJCAA National Championship Tournament knocking off #12 seed San Jac, #13 seed Lake Land, and #1 seed Florida Southwestern before dropping the semifinal matchup to #7 McLennan and then a heartbreaker to #1 Florida Southwestern to be eliminated.  The 3rd place finish is tied for the best finish in program history.  Jackson’s team set new school records for wins (55), winning % (88.7%), RBI (556), walks (211), and strikeouts (416).  Aydenne Brown broke her own strikeout record with 262, finishing with another school record of 499 in her career.  Brown was named to the National All-Tournament team and a 1st Team All-American.  Five Wranglers were named to All-Region teams and ten were awarded All-Conference honors.  Possibly even more impressive than the on-field success came when Jackson’s Wranglers were named the NJCAA Academic Team of the Year, finishing with a 3.80 team GPA.  17 of his players were named to Academic All-American teams.  

In 2021, the Wranglers finished the season with a 39-11 record and took home the WJCAC Championship Tournament trophy, beating #3 seed Clarendon in the opening game and #1 seed Howard in back-to-back games to sweep their way to a National Championship Tournament berth in Yuma, AZ.  In Arizona, the Wranglers matched up against the #7 seed Seminole State (OK) but fell short in a tough 1-0 loss in extra innings. The Wranglers bounced back to eliminate #14 Central Alabama in walk-off fashion before seeing their season end against #5 Wallace State.  The records and accolades piled up as the Wranglers set a school record, stealing 185 bases, while freshman Aydenne Brown also broke the single-season strikeout record, compiling 237 over the season.  Brown’s freshman campaign could arguably be called the best in Odessa history.  In addition to setting the strikeout record, Brown was named a First Team All-American, WJCAC MVP, National Pitcher of the Week (3/8-3/14), and Conference Pitcher of the Week in every single week the award was given.  Brown along with teammates Fadwa Ben Karim, Illy Cisneros, Alyssa Deanda, Lauren Gonzales, and Kaylean Ayala earned 1st Team All-Region honors.  Freshman Marijn Crouwel was named 1st Team All-Conference, and Hunter Harkrider was named All-Conference Honorable Mention.  Harkrider was later announced to the NFCA First Team All-Region team as well.  Alyssa Deanda and Marijn Crouwel were named WJCAC Players of the Week on Feb. 2nd and Feb. 9th, respectively.  Illy Cisneros was named WJCAC Player of the Week twice on April 20th and May 3rd.  The Wranglers continued their success in the classroom with a team GPA of 3.49 and saw six players receive 1st Team Academic All-American honors with perfect 4.0 GPAs.  Two players were also named 2nd Team and another four, 3rd Team.

The 2020 season was cut short but it didn’t stop the Wranglers from receiving recognition in their 19 games.  On February 11th, Odessa swept the weekly All-Conference awards as Cori Turner was named WJCAC Pitcher of the Week and Becca Duran was named WJCAC Hitter of the Week.  On March 3rd, Odessa once again swept All-Conference accolades as freshman pitcher Madi Scott earned Pitcher of the Week and sophomore Madison Zaccardo took home the Hitter of the Week award.  Academically, the Wranglers posted an impressive 3.42 team GPA as 19 players made the Commissioner’s Honor Roll, achieving a 3.25 or higher GPA.

In the 2019 season, Coach Jackson saw his team finish with a 31-22 record and a 3rd place finish in the final WJCAC standings.  The Wranglers collected handfuls of post season awards led by First Team All-American, Illy Cisneros and Second Team All-American, Becca Duran. Cisneros and Duran were also named First Team All-Region along with teammates Kaitlyn Reinecke, Morgyn Fulgham, and Cori Turner.  Cami Deanda and July Hernandez were awarded All-Conference Honorable Mention. On May 8th, Becca Duran received the prestigious title of National Player of the Week after hitting .833 with 12 RBIs and 5 homeruns in the team’s regular season series finale against Frank Phillips. Jade Laird, Benedetta Scotto, Cori Turner, Kelsy Paris, and Morgyn Fulgham were named NFCA Academic All-Americans.

In his first season at Odessa, Coach Jackson led his team to a 39-12 overall record and a third place finish in the WJCAC, with a 4th place finish at the Region V Tournament.  The Wranglers received numerous accolades for their strong season including six All-Conference selections, two All-Region selections, and outfielder Brooke Ryan was named a 1st Team All-American. 

Prior to Odessa, Coach Jackson served three seasons as head softball coach at Ranger College.  Under his leadership, Ranger went from the last place finisher in the NTJCAC to the #12 team in the nation.  Jackson coached a total of seven 1st Team All-Region, seven 1st Team All-Conference players, and nine 2nd Team All-Conference players while at Ranger.

Coach Jackson started coaching softball after three years as a baseball assistant.  Before becoming the head softball coach, he spent two years as the assistant baseball coach at Ranger under head coach Josh Blakley.  He began his coaching career at McMurry University in Abilene, TX after four seasons as the team’s catcher under head coaches Lee Driggers and John Byington.

He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and holds a Master’s Degree in Athletic Administration.

Coach Jackson lives in Odessa with his wife, Jessica, six year-old daughter, Parker, and three year-old son, Connor.

Fans may secure their 2024 season tickets and support Coach Jackson in his inaugural season by CLICKING HERE

What Others Are Saying:

“Congrats to Coach Jackson and his family- SFA made a great hire. He does an excellent job with recruiting and player development. He is also a winner. Every program he has been at compete for conference and national championships yearly.” – Nicole Dickson, University of New Mexico Head Coach

“Great hire for SFA. Jeff did a great job at Odessa building that program into a national powerhouse. Hiring Jeff at SFA just made the WAC even better!” – Shanon Hays, Grand Canyon Head Coach

“SFA couldn’t have selected a better coach than Jeff. His commitment to building connections with his players leads to top notch development of his players on and off the field! SFA definitely got better today.” – Justin Lewis, Nicholls State Head Coach