Apr 04, 2023

Mizzou baseball: Kerrick Jackson becomes SEC's first black head coach

When Kerrick Jackson took the Missouri baseball head coach job, he printed his name into the history books. Jackson became the first Black head coach in SEC baseball.

After being introduced and putting on his Tigers’ hat and jersey at Taylor Stadium on Monday, Jackson said the moment meant a great deal to him.

"Special," Jackson said. "Again you’re talking about, unfortunately we’re in 20223 talking about breaking glass ceilings when it comes to those types of things. Hopefully, as I stated last year, hopefully we get ourselves in a position where that's not such a big deal, but what I do understand is I understand the magnitude of it, specifically in the landscape that we’re in when we talk about the lack of Black players in the game at the major league levels and at the youth levels.

"So hopefully this puts us in a position where people understand what is capable when you go about your business the right way and we start to rejuvenate that interest and we create more opportunities for coaches and players coming up."

More:Kerrick Jackson is happy to be Missouri's new baseball coach. Can he solve its problems?

Jackson, who returns after a season as head coach at Memphis, is no stranger to Columbia. He worked as an assistant at MU from 2011-2015 under former head coach Tim Jamieson, helping the Tigers win a Big 12 title and transition into the SEC.

Now he’ll have his work cut out trying to elevate a program that hasn't made an NCAA regional since 2012 and was the No. 12 seed before being eliminated in the first game of the SEC tournament in 2023. From the outside looking in, Missouri doesn't seem like an easy gig.

However, athletics director Desiree Reed-Francois thinks Jackson is the man for the job.

"His passion and his grit," Reed-Francois said of what made him the choice. "He also has a very strategic approach in the way he looks at us. He sees opportunities where some may see insurmountable challenges. I wanted someone to look at Mizzou baseball and say ‘Hey, Mizzou baseball's had some periods of incredible greatness.’ And then let's find out why and then let's methodically go about building something that we can all be proud of."