Under the guidance of Coach Roy Jackson, the North Pulaski Falcons defeated Malvern, 58-42, Tuesday and moved to 4-1 on the season. Once upon a time, though, Jackson wasn’t training to be a coach.
A 1992 graduate from Jacksonville High School, Jackson originally went to college at Southern Arkansas University before transferring to UCA (University of Central Arkansas). Starting out, Jackson was an accounting major.
In my second year of college, I realized accounting wasn’t for me," Jackson said. "I had always loved sports, was always the team captain and always asking questions. I’m a people person and thought I might coach something."
The reason for the start in accounting was because Jackson took those aptitude tests and accounting stood out as a career path for him since he was good in math. He realized quickly it wasn’t for him and knew he couldn’t be behind a desk when he was such a people person. Once he decided he was going to coach, the next decision was figuring out what he was going to teach.
"The hardest thing was deciding what I wanted to teach," Jackson said. "I didn’t know if I should teach math or maybe social studies. One of my mentors in college suggested special education. I took a couple of classes and liked it and knew I could always get my foot in the door."
Teaching special education and coaching go hand in hand. Both areas require patience and figuring how a student/athlete learns and what buttons to push.
"Every kid can learn, some just learn in different ways," Jackson said. "You just have to find out how they learn, give them confidence and show you care. The beauty is taking a kid who is struggling, give them confidence and show you care."
Jackson transfers that same insight to the basketball court. Patience is important along with finding out what motivates each player and what doesn’t.
Starting his coaching career at Lake Charles, LA, his first year as an assistant the team reached the state semifinals and then won the next year. Prior to North Pulaski, Jackson was an assistant at Jacksonville where the Red Devils won one state title and were runner-up. Being a part of two schools with state titles is also beneficial to Jackson.
"I’ve learned from different coaches and different styles," Jackson said. "The main thing I’ve learned is how to prepare for the big games and take it to the next level"
Those lessons can be a benefit to the Falcons.