7th in a 13 part series introducing the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2023
By Bill Plot
Montgomery, AL – Ronald Jackson’s commitment to coaching and teaching is still going strong after more than 1,000 victories and five state championships.
The T.R. Miller High School girls’ coach is one of 13 individuals who will be inducted as the Class of 2023 in the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame. The induction banquet will be Monday, March 13, at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center. The banquet will begin at 6 p.m.
A press conference will be held at the Renaissance at 1:15 p.m., on Monday introducing the Class of 2023 to the media. The Hall of Fame is a program developed and managed by the AHSAA’s Alabama High School High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA). This year’s class will be the 23rd class inducted since the HOF inception in 1991.
A native of Selma, Jackson graduated from Dallas County High School in 1977 and the University of Southern Mississippi in 1982. He also holds master’s degree in psychology.
He began his teaching and coaching career at Monroe County High School in 1985. As girls’ basketball coach, he began an extraordinary career that would result in more than 1,000 high school basketball victories and five state championships. In three years at Monroe County, he compiled a record 52-15, carrying all three teams to the semifinals of the state tournament, or the Final Four as it is now more popularly known. The 1986-87 team, with a record of 21-3 , won the state championship.
He then went to Keith High School of Orrville in Dallas County, where he coached boys’ basketball and again had a team in the state tournament semifinals. In the 1990-91 school year, he settled in at T.R. Miller High School where he has remained ever since. He coached boys’ basketball for nine years, 1990-91 through 1998-99, with one team reaching the state semifinals. In 1992, he also took over the girls’ program, coaching both for seven years.
His first girls’ team had a record of 17-2, won the area title and advanced to the quarterfinals of the state tournament. Since then, his teams have won 23 additional area championships. Fourteen of them have advanced to the state semifinals. Four have won state championships. Two were runners-up. He has had 24 All State players and has been selected Coach of the Year numerous times.
His teams have produced more than twenty 20-win seasons and five with at least 30 wins. The Lady Tigers had a 62-game winning streak from 1992-96, He was named coach for the Alabama-Mississippi All Star Game twice.
Brewton City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Garner said: “Coach Jackson propelled T. R. Miller girls’ basketball into the statewide spotlight as an exceptional coach with his perpetual winning ways. He accomplished this not with the occasional premier athlete that cycles through a program but instead relying on the average athletes who buy into his process, become great players, and confidently compete with the spirit of T. R. Miller.”
He said Jackson’s skillfully crafted program for success was built upon several foundational blocks.
“He prioritizes placing the team above the individual, recognizing that every player on the team adds worth and value to the success of the program,” said Garner. “ His teams play with great technique, consistent discipline, physical and mental toughness, and an unmatched passion for winning. Coach Jackson recognizes the difficulties of getting to and staying on top, knowing that we will always get our opponent’s best performance of the season in their quest to knock off perennial power T. R. Miller. Nevertheless, his stellar program has endured the test of time over the decades.”
Jackson has been a master at organizing all aspects of the program. He understands the whole picture, more than just the ‘X’s’ and ‘O’s’ of basketball. He is a master of motivation, marketing, and coaching.
“Although he is a ‘hands on’ coach in all aspects of the program, he skillfully allows his assistant coaches to maximize and utilize their respective strengths for the benefit of the overall program,” Garner added. “Typically, the public only sees the end result of the 365-day process of developing a team as they perform during their games each season.
“Even parents with children in the program probably don’t realize the full magnitude of time, energy and sacrifice Coach Jackson invests into each new team. The life skills he teaches will forever live on in the many lives he has impacted throughout his teaching/coaching career – that will constitute his true legacy! The TRM family and the Brewton community will be forever grateful to Coach Jackson and his legacy of success!”
Coach Jackson has been a community leader also through his church and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, helping provide food and shelter for the homeless, working to meet the needs of senior citizens, fundraising for the under privileged, and mentoring for students.