The Washington Huskies are adding a national champion to their coaching staff. On Friday, head coach Lorenzo Romar announced that longtime Western Washington head coach Brad Jackson will join his staff as an assistant.
Jackson has spent the past 27 seasons at Western, winning a record 518 games. But the past season was his crowning achievement, leading the Vikings to the NCAA Division II national championship and a 31-5 record.
“I think we got an absolute steal,” Romar said in a press release. “You hire a basketball coach off of winning a national championship … it doesn’t happen very often. I’m just ecstatic that he has decided to do this.”
Now 60, Jackson has been a fixture in local basketball circles. Under his direction, Western has made 19 postseason appearances and recorded 20-win seasons 12 times.
“I have tried to hire him before and it just didn’t work out,” Romar said. “He is successful, very accomplished and knows the Northwest. He has been here forever. He is definitely going to help our program.”
After such a long and storied career in Bellingham, Jackson said the decision to leave wasn’t an easy one.
“It was very, very hard,” he said in the press release. “Our roots are in Bellingham. The other side of that is that my wife grew up in Seattle, I started my coaching career here at SPU and we have a lot of friends here. It is only an hour drive away. The logistics are very easy.”
Jackson will travel with the Huskies on their upcoming trip to Spain, France and Senegal.
The job became available to Jackson because assistant Raphael Chillious is leaving the program for a similar job at Villanova.
CBS Sports reported that Chillious has accepted the job and the announcement will be made Monday.
While Jackson brings years of experience, the loss of Chillious is a blow to the program. Since coming to Montlake after coaching Isaiah Thomas for two years at South Kent Prep, Chillious has been one of Romar’s best recruiters.
Jackson was born and raised in Vancouver, Wash., and was a standout for Hudson’s Bay High School. He played both basketball and baseball for Washington State. As a senior, he led the Pac-8 in assists. Jackson earned his master’s degree at Seattle Pacific and worked as an assistant coach for the Falcons for five email@example.com 253-597-8483 blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports @RyanDivish