LYNCHBURG, Va. – Liberty University Director of Athletics Jeff Barber has announced the hiring of Scott Jackson as the seventh head coach of the Flames’ baseball program.
Jackson is no stranger to Liberty, having served as the team’s pitching coach during the 2008 season.
Liberty will hold a welcoming press conference for Jackson tomorrow at 4 p.m. in the Liberty Baseball Stadium Team Room. The event is free and open to the general public and will be streamed live through the Big South Network and the Liberty Flames Athletics Facebook page.
Attendees can gain access to the Liberty Baseball Stadium Team Room by entering the doors next to the Muckel Gate (third base ticket gate). Attendees are encouraged to park in the Bailey Parking Lot, which is located off Liberty University Drive.
“I am thrilled to welcome back Scott, Sara, Ryan and Tyler to the Liberty family,” said Barber. “Scott is recognized as one of the top assistant coaches in the country and is more than ready to lead his own program. He is known throughout college baseball as an outstanding recruiter and teacher of the game. Most of all, Scott is an integrity filled leader that embraces the mission of Liberty University.”
During his one season with the Flames, Jackson helped Liberty post a 35-26-1 record and a 14-7 mark in Big South play. Liberty was the No. 2 seed at the 2008 Big South Baseball Championship and advanced to the event’s title game.
Following the 2008 season, two of Jackson’s pupils were selected in the Major League Baseball Draft. Left-hander Ryan Page was selected in the 20th round by the Toronto Blue Jays and right-hander David Stokes was taken by the Detroit Tigers in the 28th round.
“Playing at Liberty will be the ultimate experience for our student-athletes – spiritually, academically, socially and athletically,” said Jackson. “They will be challenged daily, pushed to meet those challenges, encouraged, lifted up and will establish a tremendous sense of pride and ownership in our program.”
“The Liberty University baseball program will be a model of excellence on the national level of college baseball,” continued Jackson. “Our success on the field and in the classroom will be a source of pride for our school, its student body and our proud alumni. Most importantly, we will accomplish our goals while following the mission of the school to train champions for Christ.”
Since his time with the Flames, Jackson has spent the last eight seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at North Carolina. Jackson worked with the Tar Heels offense, as well as hitting, base running and infield play.
During his eight seasons in Chapel Hill, N.C., Jackson helped North Carolina post a 345-156 record, make three College World Series appearances (2009, 2011 and 2013), advance to six-straight NCAA Regionals (2009-14) and win the 2013 ACC Championship.
Prior the 2013 season, Jackson was recognized by Baseball America as one of the top assistant coaches in the country.
During the Tar Heels’ run to the 2011 College World Series, North Carolina had one of its top scoring seasons in school history. The Tar Heels finished the year ranked No. 10 in the country with 452 runs score. Jackson’s batters proved to be patient hitters, finishing the year ranked No. 2 in the country in walks (358).
North Carolina had continued success at the plate during the 2012 season, finishing the year ranked No. 4 in the nation in walks (304). The following season, the Tar Heels led the country in hits (759), runs (542) and walks (369).
Since joining the coaching staff at North Carolina in 2009, Jackson helped the Tar Heels have 44 players selected in the Major League Baseball Draft.
North Carolina’s top offensive selection in 2016 was outfielder Tyler Ramirez, who was a seventh-round selection by the Oakland Athletics. He finished the 2016 season hitting .333, with 11 doubles, eight home runs, 47 RBI and a .540 slugging percentage.
Jackson worked with freshman All-America second baseball Levi Michael who was the 30th overall selection in the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft.
Third baseman Colin Moran came to North Carolina as an unheralded recruit but developed into one of the top hitters in the country as he earned All-America honors and was named the Baseball America Freshman of the Year in 2011. As a junior, Moran was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, led the nation with 91 RBIs and was the No. 6 overall pick of the Miami Marlins in the 2013 MLB Draft.
Jackson helped coach three-time All-American Dustin Ackley to Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year honors and also mentored all-conference selection Kyle Seager. Both Ackley and Seager were selected in the top three rounds of the 2009 MLB Draft, and Seager was both an AL All-Star and UNC’s first Gold Glove winner in 2014.
Jackson’s efforts on the recruiting trail have also paid off for the Tar Heels, as the program has consistently signed classes that rank among the nation’s best. The 2010 group of newcomers ranked No. 7 nationally, the 2011 class was ranked No. 6, the 2012 crop was ranked No. 4, the 2013 edition was ranked No. 5, the incoming class of 2014 was ranked No. 1 and the 2015 edition was ranked No. 5.
Prior to his single season at Liberty, Jackson served five seasons on staff at UNC Wilmington as pitching coach (2003-07). The Seahawks posted a three-consecutive seasons and captured the Colonial Athletic Association titles in 2004 and 2006. UNC Wilmington also advanced to NCAA Regional play in 2003, 2004 and 2006.
Under Jackson’s tutelage, six Seahawk pitchers were selected in the MLB Draft after going undrafted out of high school. His pitching staff established a number of school records at Wilmington, including strikeouts and saves.
Jackson also had coaching stints at Campbell (2002), Barton (2001) and Wofford (2000). In addition to his collegiate work, Jackson also spent two seasons with the Wilmington Sharks, where he was an assistant to fellow North Carolina assistant Scott Forbes in 2000. He led the Sharks to a league-best 31-17 mark in 2002 as head coach and coached five MLB draft picks.
Jackson is a 1998 graduate of Campbell with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and he earned a master’s degree in education in 2000, also from Campbell. During his playing days with the Camels, he played seven different positions and posted a career .268 batting average in 182 games.
A native of Charlotte, N.C., Jackson is married to the former Sara Moore, who was a standout basketball player at Campbell. The couple has two sons, Ryan and Tyler.