Coach Michael Jackson was approved on Tuesday to be the new head football coach at Red Bay High School. Photo by Keith Ledbetter.
Coach Michael Jackson was approved on Tuesday to be the new head football coach at Red Bay High School. Photo by Keith Ledbetter.

Archived Story

Jackson named head football coach at RBHS

Published 5:42pm Tuesday, June 17, 2014

RED BAY – The search for a new head football coach at Red Bay High School came to a close Tuesday as former Buckhorn and Russellville head coach Michael Jackson was officially approved for the position.

Jackson was approved by the Franklin County School Board at Tuesday’s meeting based on the recommendation of Red Bay High School principal Kenny Sparks. He will also serve as a social studies teacher.

“I think this is a great hire for our system,” Franklin County Superintendent Gary Williams said.

“Coach Jackson has an impressive resume and a lot of experience and will be a great asset to the football program at Red Bay.”

Jackson began his football career at Russellville High School as a team captain and received the Most Valuable Player award on the 1986 Russellville team, which was the first team in 18 years to go 10-0.

Jackson was selected as All-State by the Birmingham News and the Alabama Sports Writers Association and was also a two-time MVP on the Russellville High School baseball team.

Jackson, along with Chucky Mullins, led a secondary that was feared throughout North Alabama. Jackson started in 33 games as a Golden Tiger and signed a scholarship to play with the University of North Alabama Lions upon his graduation from RHS.

Jackson started in 27 games for the Lions and in 1990 was voted Most Valuable Defensive player. His 18 tackles and two interceptions against Troy University led to being selected as a USA Today College Defensive Player of the Week.

Jackson returned to the Tigers during the 1992 season as Russellville finished 13-1 and played for the state championship.

He was an assistant for nine more seasons until 2002 when he took over a Buckhorn team ranked 62 out of 64 teams in Class 5A.

In four years, the Bucks played for the state championship.

Over a seven-year period, Jackson’s Buckhorn team won more games than any Madison County, Madison City or Huntsville City program.

Jackson was selected as ACA Coach of the year and was defensive coordinator for head coach Rush Propst in the North–South All-Star game.

When he left Buckhorn, he was presented a jersey for being the all-time winningest coach in school history.

In 2012, Jackson led Russellville to a 9-3 record and signed six players to college scholarships. His team defeated the defending state champion Hartselle team and played one of the best schedules in the state. (Eight of Russellville’s opponents won eight or more games that year.)

In the last 40 years, Russellville has had six perfect regular season teams. Jackson played for one, coached on two and defeated the last one in 2005.

As a player and coach, Jackson has been part of 126 victories by the Golden Tigers.

“I want to thank Mr. Sparks, Mr. Williams, the search committee, Mr. Shewbart, and the Franklin County Board of Education for the wonderful opportunity to make a difference in the lives of student athletes at Red Bay High School,” Jackson said.

“We want our program to represent Red Bay and be a source of pride for the citizens of Red Bay.”

Jackson said the team will be getting to work immediately on several key elements he plans to focus on.

“We will start this week pursuing our program goals,” Jackson said.

“Our first goal is to be the most physical and strongest 2A program in the state. The second goal is to win the Region 8 championship. The third goal is to win a state championship.”

Jackson said in addition to these overall program goals, he will also work on other goals on a daily basis.

“We will take one day at a time and just try to win that day,” he said.

“We lost some seniors but have several players coming back with experience.

“Our short-term goals are to improve every day and be the best team we can be on the Friday night after Game 10. The playoffs start then and young players will have had the chance to improve throughout the season.

“If we get to this point, all that’s left to do is make memories.”

Editor's Picks