A lot of pieces had to fit together in order for Brad Jackson to resign as Western Washington University men's basketball coach after 27 largely successful seasons.
Jackson has crossed off most items on a Division II coach's bucket list.
He's the all-time winningest coach in school history, has won multiple conference titles and has claimed a Division II National Championship.
Early Friday, Aug. 17, WWU athletics formally announced Jackson's resignation as the WWU head basketball coach in a press release.
The reason for Jackson's departure? The chance to coach at the Division I level with long-time friend Lorenzo Romar as an assistant coach for the University of Washington men's basketball team.
"It was one of those things where coach Romar and I have talked for different periods of time," Jackson said in a phone interview. "We've been friends for a long time, and it was always something like, 'Hey, if anything comes up, would you be interested?' It was always, 'Yeah, OK, maybe.' There's definitely mixed emotions, and I'm sure it will be that way for a while."
Romar and Jackson began their relationship while playing college ball in Washington during the late 1970s. Romar played for UW, and Jackson played for Washington State University. Through the years, both coaches have maintained a close relationship during various basketball endeavors.
"It is exciting professionally," Jackson said. "I wasn't really looking for something necessarily. I think probably the only person (I'd leave Western for) would be Lorenzo. Theoretically and philosophy-wise, we are very similar. We both like to play the game aggressively on defense with a fast-break offense."
Even though Jackson will drop in rank from head coach to assistant coach, he said he feels he'll still be a major part of team operations.
"I think it will be a good opportunity for me to utilize some of my skills," Jackson said. "From a coaching standpoint, I think it will be an opportunity to take the Huskies to the next level."
Romar said he believes he found a gem with the addition of Jackson to his coaching staff.
"I think we got an absolute steal," Romar said in a press release from UW athletics. "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."
"I have tried to hire him before, and it just didn't work out. He is successful, vey accomplished and knows the Northwest. He has been here forever. He is definitely going to help our program."
What UW gains is WWU's loss. And the Huskies gained a whole lot.
Over the duration of 27 seasons, Jackson compiled 518 wins - a mark ranking third all-time among Washington collegiate coaches. During the 2011-12 season, Jackson earned his landmark 500th win at Carver Gym.
"I am very happy for him and his opportunity, but I am sad because he has been such a great part of our program," WWU Athletic Director Lynda Goodrich said in a phone interview. "Brad and I have been colleagues for 27 years. We've had our ups and downs, but it's hard to say goodbye to a friend."
Goodrich said Jackson was instrumental in helping her when she was hired as WWU Athletic Director.
"From the very beginning, when I became athletics director, Brad was very wonderful in trying to work with me and our entire athletics staff with developing our programs," Goodrich said. "He helped with innovation for the whole program to get additional resources to put us ahead."
Jackson is gone, but his coaching methods will carry on.
Shortly after Goodrich learned of Jackson's decision to resign, she hired Tony Dominguez - assistant coach to Jackson for 18 years - as interim head coach for the 2012-13 season.
"It's incredible," said Dominguez during a phone interview while vacationing in New York with his family. "You wait a long time and, for me, I enjoy being a leader for the guys. I like to establish relationships with (the players) as men and as basketball players."
He was also happy Jackson is earning a chance to coach at the Division I level.
"I think it's much needed for (the UW) program," said Dominguez of Jackson's hire. "I think (Jackson) is so well connected, and it's exciting he gets a chance at the D1 level. I think it's a great hire."
Reach Andrew Lang at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-756-2862.
WESTERN WASHINGTON COACHES
Coach Seasons Years Wins-losses Pct.
J.N. Bowman 5 1903-07 13-4 .765
Elias Bond 6 1907-13 27-22 .551
Sam Carver 19 1913-24, 1925-33 157-93 .628
Elwood Davis 1 1924-25 14-3 .824
Charles Lappenbusch 13 1933-46 112-115 .493
C.W. McDonald 9 1946-55 84-119 .414
Jack Hubbard 7 1955-62 86-83 .509
Chuck Randall 18 1962-75, 1976-81 275-186 .597
Jack Ecklund 1 1975-76 14-12 .538
Denny Huston 1 1981-82 13-12 .520
Bill Westphal 3 1982-85 33-45 .423
Brad Jackson 27 1985-2012 518-279 .650
Totals 109 1,346-973 .580
JACKSON'S COACH OF THE YEAR HONORS
1988-89: NAIA District 1
1989-90: NAIA District 1
1990-91: NAIA District 1
1993-94: NAIA Pacific Northwest Region I
2011:12: NABC West District
2011-12: NABC National
2011-12: D-II Bulletin National
WWU'S CONFERENCE TITLES UNDER JACKSON
1987-88: NAIA District 1
1993-94: Pacific Northwest Region 1
2000-01: Pac West
TONY DOMINGUEZ BIO
- Served two years as associate head coach and 19 seasons overall as an assistant with Brad Jackson
- Has directed Parberry Strength Center for five years
- Responsible for coordinating, scheduling, scouting, budgeting and recruiting
- Coordinated the WWU Basketball Camp the past 14 years
- Completed Masters of Business Adminstration degree at Concordia University (Wis.)
- Served as junior varsity basketball coach at Nooksack Valley for one season
- Graduated from Everett Cascade High School
- Wife, Kristi, and he have two daughters, Emilia, 12, and Madison, 9, and one son, Dane, 6
Reach ANDREW LANG at email@example.com or call ext. 862.