NP Basketball Coach

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Jackson takes reign of NP Cougar boys basketball team

By Myra Bean

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The North Panola basketball program is undergoing a change as Dannis Jackson prepares to head coach the boys team.

Jackson, 38, of Senatobia took a year hiatus from coaching as he worked on his school room career at North Panola Jr. High. When his former principal Demond Radcliff became principal at North Panola High School, he asked Jackson to take over coaching the varsity boys team.

Jackson attended Mississippi Valley State University where he graduated with a degree in health and physical education and received two masters degree. One in physical education and one in guidance counseling.

Jackson has amassed 10 years of coaching experience from when he worked in Shreveport, La. where he was an assistant high school coach for two years in basketball and track.

He moved back to Mississippi and his first head coaching job was with boys basketball and track at Coahoma High School. Jackson then left Mississippi and took a head basketball/athletic director position in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The past two years he has been coordinating an adolescent offender program in Tate County where his father has an insurance agency.

With the exception of his team at Coahoma County, he has coached his teams to the playoffs and won the district by the second year.

“I just haven’t won a state championship yet,” Jackson said.

Jackson’s plans for the basketball program include regaining fan interest and uplifting the morale of the school overall.

“If you want people to watch you play, you have to win games,” he stressed to the team.

His coaching philosophy is defense first and a very structured offense.

“I like to dictate where 80 to 85 percent of the shots come from and who takes them,” Jackson said.

Jackson said he has met with players and they are excited about the upcoming season.

“They look forward to something new,” he added. “I had an opportunity to watch them play in summer camp. I do see some potential for them. The nucleus of the team is young. It will take a lot of hard work and discipline.”

Jackson was talking discipline not only on the basketball court, but first in the classroom which should be the standard.

“Playing athletics is a privilege,” he said. “We represent ourselves not just yourself.”