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CU athletic director Jackson set to retire

After more than 18 years serving as Cameron University’s Athletic Director, Jim Jackson has confirmed his intention to retire at the end of February 2024. As his tenure comes to a close, Jackson will be lauded for the significant impact he has had on CU’s athletics programs since taking the reins in August 2005.

“Jim Jackson’s contributions to Cameron’s athletic programs have been significant,” says John McArthur, president. “From his first day on the job, he has been committed to the success of our student-athletes and staff in competition and equally committed to their academic and career success. We are deeply appreciative that Jim chose to guide Aggie athletics for almost two decades and we wish him the very best for a fulfilling retirement.”

After joining the Cameron staff in 2005 following a seven-year tenure as athletic director at Pratt Community College in Pratt, Kan., Jackson compiled a list of “wants” that included facility improvements that would not only enhance the performance of Aggie athletes but would also appeal to supporters and drive attendance at athletic events.

McCord Field underwent a much-needed novation that started with a new outfield fence, then later saw the addition of lights to the field as well as new seating, a clubhouse, dugouts and an enhanced scoreboard. Aggie Gym has seen the addition of heat and air conditioning as well as a new floor, lighting and more comfortable seats. The lobby was remodeled, media and hospitality rooms were created, and state-of-the-art wooden lockers replaced old lockers. In terms of technology, a new sound system was added, as was a video replay system and spotlights.

Golfers have benefited from the Terry Bell Golf Center, and tennis fans enjoy the seating and shade at the Streich-Henry Tennis Complex.

At the McMahon Field and Athletic Center, student athletes enjoy a weight room, an auxiliary athletic training room, batting cages and more. The adjacent softball field has bleachers, lighting and an outdoor batting cage.

While those improvements took years to implement, one of Jackson’s most successful initiatives was developed much more quickly: the Cameron University Athletics Hall of Fame.

“When I started here, there was talk about the rich history of the athletics program, but no records existed,” Jackson says. “The implementation of the Hall of Fame was the start of us remembering our past by remembering the championships and players, many of whom went on to do great things in both athletics and in their professional lives.”

Jackson solicited nominations for the inaugural class in 2007, resulting in 10 inductees in February 2008. Today, the Hall of Fame boasts 91 members.

Another early achievement was the creation of the Cameron Gold Club, a booster club that Jackson developed based on input from Aggie fans. With approximately 250 members, the Cameron Gold Club provides financial support to CU’s athletics programs and gives Aggie supporters a unified presence at athletic events.

Jackson has also coordinated reunions of various athletic teams, bringing former athletes back to campus to re-live their achievements. CU has celebrated the accomplishments of football players, golfers, basketballers, volleyball players and boxers with reunions that have seen numerous Aggies visiting with teammates for the first time in decades.

Under Jackson’s leadership, members of Cameron’s athletic teams have been making a difference in the community, logging more than 2,500 hours of volunteer service in the community annually since the program was implemented. Projects include AmBucs Pancake Day, Rotary Track Meet, Lawton Food Bank, Holiday in the Park, Armed Services Day, Boys & Girls Club and mentoring at elementary schools.

He has also ensured that CU’s athletes succeed in the classroom, resulting in 175 Academic All-Americans during Jackson’s tenure. The cumulative GPA for Aggie athletes has consistently met or exceeded the program goal of 3.0, leading the Aggies to receiving the Lone Star Conference’s Academic Excellence Award in 2017 (women’s sports) and 2019 (men’s sports), signifying the highest cumulative GPA in the conference.

The Aggies have also experienced great success on the field, links and court, tallying 16 LSC regular season championships, three LSC Tournament championships, two LSC Divisional championships and 34 LSC individual championships. The department also boasts 18 NCAA Regional championships and has sent 19 teams and two individuals to NCAA National Tournaments.

Jackson also guided the addition of women’s cross country as well as men’s and women’s track and field teams to the Aggie athletic roster in 2018-19.

Under Jackson’s leadership, CU coaches have received numerous honors, including 23 LSC Coach of the Year awards, 11 NCAA Regional Coach of the Year awards and two NCAA National Coach of the Year awards. Three coaches have been inducted into the LSC Hall of Honor.

Throughout his tenure at CU, Jackson has served on multiple LSC sport committees. He served as chairman of the LSC Conference of Athletic Administrators for four years, as well as serving for four years on the NCAA National Baseball Rules Committee.

“Jim’s contributions to Aggie athletics are far-reaching,” says McArthur. “He has positioned the program for continuing success.”

A national search for Jackson’s successor is currently underway.


PR# 23-174

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