When Ted Jackson found out he will be inducted into the Pennsylvania State Football Coach Association Hall of Fame, he was humbled.
“I knew I was nominated last year, and I’m just shocked that I got in this year,” Jackson said. “It’s just an honor. The first guy inducted was my high school phys ed teacher who was best friends with my father, Luther Richards. When my son got the thing up on the computer and I saw some of the coaches that are in it, it’s just an unbelievable honor and a tribute to the Dallas kids, coaches and families.”
The induction will take place Saturday morning, June 15, in Harrisburg. Jackson and the other inductees will be honored that night at the Big 33 Game in Hershey.
Jackson spent 27 seasons as Dallas’ head coach where his constant success was overshadowed on occasion by controversies. Perceived as a gruff, no-nonsense coach, Jackson also had a cutting sense of humor.
“I might be the only guy to get fired to get in,” Jackson quipped.
The Dallas School Board opened Jackson’s position after the 2011 season. He re-applied, but wasn’t hired. He departed with an impressive resume of a 227-83-3 record, the PIAA Class 2A state championship in 1993 and appearances in the District 2 Class 3A championship game two of his last three years. His Dallas teams finished with a losing record just once. He also served as head coach at the PSFCA East-West All-Star Game and was an assistant in the Big 33 Game.
Jackson spent last season as an assistant at Misericordia University. He is coaching there through spring practices as well. The 62-year-old hasn’t ruled out a return to the high school level, but under different circumstances. He would like to see his son, Ted Jr., get a head coaching position and join him as an assistant.
Jackson Jr. has been praised throughout the coaching ranks for his offensive gameplans. He was recently a finalist for the opening at Bloomsburg High School.
“I’d rather see him get a job and help him,” Jackson said. “He’s good, he’s better than me. I’m getting in the Hall of Fame and he’s better than me. Anybody who has coached against him knows that. I just hope something would fall for him somewhere and my whole staff would go with him.”
Jackson will be the third Wyoming Valley Conference coach to be inducted in the last four classes. Hanover Area’s Al Kopacz had the honor last year. Paul Marranca was chosen in 2010. Marranca spent the majority of his coaching career at Wyoming Area with brief stops at Nanticoke and Hazleton Area.
Other WVC coaches in the hall include Richards and Charlie Fick of GAR, Meyers’ Mickey Gorham and Wyoming Valley West’s Jim Fennell.