BOSTON, MA. – Grambling State University first-year head men’s basketball coach Donte’ Jackson was named the Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year by Collegeinsider.com on Monday afternoon.
“This is a tremendous honor to be put in a category of great basketball coaches,” Jackson, who became Grambling State’s first-ever recipient of the award, said. “We had a good season, a record-setting season, and I give all credit to the assistant coaches and our players for all their hard work during the season. I am just blessed for the opportunity to win this award and blessed to be at Grambling State University.
Jackson, who has earned National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) NCAA Division I District 23 Coach of the Year and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Coach of the Year honors this season, guided the Tigers to one of the best seasons as an NCAA Division I program with a 17-14 overall record and an outright SWAC regular-season championship. It was Grambling State’s first Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) regular season title in 30 years (1988-89) and first winning season since the 2005-06 season.
Jackson, who was selected the SWAC Coach of the Year, guided the Tigers to a signature road victory on Dec. 1 with a 64-63 win over Georgia Tech and brought attention to the Grambling State program with a school-record 11 game winning streak, which stretched from Jan. 8 to Feb. 17. During the streak, the Tigers swept Texas Southern, which last happened during the 2005-06 season.
“This is a huge honor for Coach Jackson as he is the best minority coach in the country,” Grambling State Director of Athletics Paul A. Bryant said. “This is an outstanding honor for Coach Jackson and it shows the quality of coaching that we have here at Grambling State University.”
The Ben Jobe Award is presented annually to the top minority coach in Division I men’s basketball. An icon in the history of basketball at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Jobe is best known as the head coach of the Southern University, a position he held for 12 seasons.
His record at Southern was 209-141 and included four NCAA Tournament appearances. He also coached the Jaguars to one NIT appearance, five SIAC championships, 11 SWAC titles and two NAIA Tournament Championships. Perhaps his most memorable moment as a coach was Southern’s 93-78 win over Georgia Tech in the first round of the 1993 NCAA Tournament. It stands as one of the great upsets in the history of the event.
Every year since 2010, Colleginsider.com has awarded the Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year Award. Ed Colley, of Fairfield, was the inaugural recipient of the year. Cuonzo Martin (2011-Missouri State), Sean Woods (2012-Mississippi Valley State), Kevin Ollie (2013-UConn), Willis Wilson (2014-Texas A&M-CC), Bobby Collins (2015-Maryland Eastern Shore) and Dana Ford (2016-Tennessee State) have received the honors over the past eight years.
Jackson was named a finalist on Friday with other top coaches in NCAA Division I, including Tommy Amaker (Harvard), Mike Boynton (Oklahoma State), Earl Grant (Charleston), Ron Hunter (Georgia State), Mike Jones (Radford), LaVall Jordan (Butler), Edward Joyner (Hampton) and Kelvin Sampson (Houston).