Eagles catch coach Tracy W. Jackson

Hood River Valley High School’s new

head football coach brings with him

25 years of coaching experience.

Photo by Adam Lapierre

Coach Jackson is currently moving to Hood River from Aurora to take over as head football coach for Hood River Valley High School. Jackson was hired this week following former coach Mitch Sanders’ move to Tigard High School.


News staff writer

July 9, 2005

Tracy Jackson is growing wings. In his 25 years of coaching, he has been a Senator, a Husky, a Bulldog, a Trojan, and a Pioneer. As the new head football coach for Hood River Valley High School, Jackson is now an Eagle.

"It's about enjoying every day, working hard, and having brothers. It's about sharing the work together and enjoying Friday nights. If we can get that done, all other goals will take care of themselves," Jackson said after accepting the position this week following former coach Mitch Sanders' move to Tigard High School.

"From what I know of the players and staff here now, we will achieve that success," Jackson said. "Everything I have experienced here has been first class and that is what we will bring to those who are involved in Eagle football … We are trying to build a foundation that will endure, and at the same time continue a fine tradition here."

Jackson, who is currently moving to Hood River from Aurora, brings 25 years of coaching experience with him, as well as a bachelor’s degree from Willamette University and a master's degree from Portland State University. In much of those 25 years of coaching, Jackson rebuilt struggling programs.

From 2002-2005: Jackson helped ascend James Madison High School football from a program that had won three games in three years to a program that in 2004 qualified for the 4A state playoffs with a 7-2 record. That year Jackson was voted the PIL coach of the year. He was also the head wrestling coach in 2005, for a team of Madison grapplers that won the PIL dual meet title.

From 1996-2002: North Marion High School hired Jackson at a time when the program finished 0-9 in its prior season. Jackson helped flip the program, boosting enrollment from 30 to 75 players and producing a winning season the following year and state ranked teams the following three years.

From 1990-1996: Jackson coached at Woodburn High School, producing three 4A state ranked teams in six years while also assisting the softball and wrestling teams.

From 1987-1990: Coaching for Meadow Park Middle School, Jackson helped the team win two city championships in three years. During that time, he also coached the Sunset varsity softball team, turning around a team that had only three wins in three years to a playoff contender.

From 1981-1987: Jackson was the assistant football coach for Oregon City High School, coaching in seven 4A state playoff games. In his time at Oregon City HS, Jackson was also the varsity softball coach for a team that won the league championship and advanced to the state semi-finals.

From 1980-1981: Jackson started his coaching career at South Salem High School, as the assistant varsity football and wrestling coaches.

Mitch Sanders left a bright legacy and he helped re-establish Eagle football as a team to be reckoned with.

Jackson commented on the program he is walking into: "The Hood River Valley football program is built to use the great game of football to build young men into men who can live their lives with a purpose. They learn to see beyond themselves and that they have a responsibility to others, and others to them. The underlying structure of the program is developing relationships: coach-to-coach, coach-to-player, and player-to-player … A lot really comes down to the hearts inside the guys.

If their hearts are in it we'll all have a great experience … Our goal at HRV is to establish a culture where players have a great experience and relationships are key. Football is a game that really pulls groups of people together. If I can be successful in that, then the goals that others have for us will take care of themselves... My biggest goal here is to ensure that players have the best experience possible playing high school football."

Jackson is currently in the process of finding a place to live in Hood River. "I feel very fortunate to be here and to work with people who feel the same way that I do," he said. "I expect to be here for a long time and look forward to giving what I have to this community."

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