It's The Cardinals Coach of the Week: Franklin Jackson


1) What was the team record goal at the start of the season? “Depends who you ask. Some felt nearly 20 wins. A few thought 15. Most just wanted to be above .500. Personally I just wanted to do better than last year with another district championship run. Time will tell which goal we reach, until then, we will continue to reach.”

2) What do you do outside of practice to further build relationships with team members? “We do many community service and outreach activities. Visiting rehabilitation centers over the holidays, signing cards and passing them out alongside comfort items. Alumni games and interacting with former Cardinal basketball players. Basketball camps for the local youth on MLK Day, and recently a visit to Missouri State to watch the Bears take on Southern Illinois. We were able to take both Senior and Junior High School players. That was a wonderful bonding experience. Lastly we plan to take a trip before the end of season to do some paintballing. As much time as we spend together, its important to do fun things as a family outside the heated competition we face daily.”

3) How often do you practice and how long is that said practice? “Before Christmas break we may practice 2 hours a day. No more than that because we lack facilities in this district for practice time and space. We have to share time with many other winter activities or else cancel our practices to allow them to practice. Sore subject, but while we were on the question of practice, I believe it's important that we are able to maximize our scheduled practice times while I have my guys in season. Now until districts, we will practice roughly an hour and half.”

4) What do you have to say about your coaching staff? “My Coaching staff is a perfect balance for me in regards to experience, game planning, temperment to compliment my personality and expectations. I think very high of my staff. In my humble opinion we have one of the best staffs in the conference and district. Any of my assistants can be or has been a Head Coach in their own right.”

5) How do you motivate your team as a whole or a member that is feeling down about a game? “I'm still trying to figure this out. Each team, each year, and each player are different with how they can be handled. Each player is different based on what drives them to be great and or average. In my experience if a player or team is down based on performance, they may need to spend some time in the gym until they get said skill figured out or that unmovable or unshakable confidence that can't break them. There's not a special formula. You will always get out of this game, whatever you pour or put into it.”

6) Would you rather play a game at home or away? “Away. Simply because our eneregy and effort has been the worse at times at home. On the road we appear to play with a little more urgency. Until we can learn to defend our house and play fearless in front of our fans, students and parents, I'd much rather take our act on the road. I have too much respect for this gym, and the fans to allow my guys not give the full effort....EVER.”

7) How do you get your team reset after losing a game? “Still trying to figure this out. Losing can weigh a ton on you. And if more losses build up than wins, that will cause your season to appear wavy. Up and down. Turbulance on the plane but you know in a few seconds you will fly past it. We are currently 10-10 and I feel like we are starting to turn this corner at the right time just before we head to districts. So I can't say we reset, but we revisit our mistakes and areas we need to improve. We just keep building on the foundation we've already built.”

8) As a coach what is your favorite part about the job? “First is the relationships built with the student-athlete. These are relationships that will last a lifetime. There's not a better feeling than following and seeing former students grow up to become productive members of society in thier community and/or fathers. That's the legacy.”

“Lastly, Being a change agent. Using my position to speak on the needs of our schools and lack of facilities, the needs of our programs and most important the needs of the student athlete. This job is different from any other job I've had simply because I'm back to the roots. I'd like to see growth and change from 23 years ago. Although my delivery isn't always the best, politically correct or may fall of deaf ears, I'll continue to advocate for the students in the district to have the same opportunities and facilities as everyone else in surrounding areas. Using my voice to also advocate for the teachers on the front lines with these young impressionable minds to have all the tools and materials they need to make thier students successful all the while enjoying thier profession and this very district that they educate in. It's not always about wins and losses in columns. As long as change is happening for the positive in our district, we are winning regardless.”