Stillman College men’s basketball coach Donte Jackson never thought he would be a coach. He was playing basketball at Central State in the early 2000s when one day, when he was a senior, he had a conversation with his coaches that changed his thoughts.
While finishing his degree, he decided to help coach after his senior season. At the same time, he worked part-time at Lowe’s to help pay for expenses, and in the end it paid off. He has made his way from that part-time job in a home furnishings store to being a 100-game winner as a Division II head coach.
“You got these ideas of grandeur: I’m going to play professional, I’m going to fly overseas and make a team,” Jackson said. “I ended up sitting down with them and they said, ‘You would make a really good coach. You should think about it.’
“At first I was like ‘Yeah whatever,’ but ever since that point I’ve been all in.”
In just his sixth season, Jackson picked up his 100th victory against LeMoyne-Owen College last Saturday. After a stalemate in regulation, the Tigers were forced into overtime to claim the coach’s historic mark. Jackson and his team got it done and won, 89-84.
“I guess as they say it’s a coaching milestone, but in the grand scheme of things it’s a win,” Jackson said. “They’ve all been important, but I definitely enjoyed this last one.”
Jackson has his team at the top of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference right now, with a 16-5 overall mark and a 10-1 league record. It’s only his second season with the program, but he already has a lot of response from his players.