McClain High School graduate Jackson joins Robert Morris University as assistant mens basketball coach

By Ryan Applegate -

McClain graduate Dante Jackson gives instruction to a player from the bench.

McClain High School graduate Dante Jackson was hired by Robert Morris University (RMU) head basketball coach Andrew Toole as an assistant coach. Jackson has been an assistant with Northern Kentucky University and the Air Force Academy and was a graduate assistant at Ohio University (OU) and his alma mater Xavier University (XU).

Jackson was a basketball star for the McClain Tigers starting all four years. He amassed the highest point total in Highland County history scoring 2,423 points in his career which also ranks 13 in OHSAA history. Jackson was also a fabulous on the boards gobbling up a total of 1,014 rebounds also good enough for the most in Highland County history. Basketball was not the only sport that Jackson excelled in during his time at McClain winning state titles in the 110-meter hurdles in track and field during his junior and senior seasons.

At XU Jackson was a participant in the NCAA mens basketball tournament as a member of an Elite Eight team in his freshman season, two Sweet Sixteen qualifying teams in his sophomore and junior seasons, and a second round team his senior season. Jackson was a three year starter for the Musketeers and is tied the lead in games played at the school with 137. His career averages of 5.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.9 assists at Xavier are not overwhelming but Jackson made up for the lack of production on the court with his incomparable leadership on and off the floor.

When being interviewed by The Times-Gazette for a story about his induction to the Highland County Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 Jackson was quoted as saying, “I want to be a college basketball coach when it’s all said and done.” He is certainly well on his way to achieving that goal after landing his third assistant coach gig at the NCAA D I level.

Jackson began his coaching odyssey at OU as a graduate assistant in 2012 before returning to XU the following year to complete his MBA in sport administration while serving as a graduate assistant for his alma mater. He helped lead the Musketeers to a third place finish in their first year in the Big East.

RMU hired Jackson in part for his ability to relate to the modern college basketball players. He is expected to be an invaluable member of the staff at RMU as they continue compete for Northeast Conference prominence.

Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.

McClain graduate Dante Jackson gives instruction to a player from the bench. graduate Dante Jackson gives instruction to a player from the bench.

By Ryan Applegate