Vic Schaefer added another up-and-coming young coach and an additional championship pedigree to his Mississippi State women’s basketball staff with the addition of Dionnah Jackson as an assistant coach.
Jackson, a former All-American at Oklahoma, comes to Starkville following a two-year stint on the staff at George Mason, where she worked with the Patriots’ offense and guards.
“I’m really excited to be at Mississippi State. In talking with Coach Schaefer, he was looking for a good fit. My staff at George Mason was great, and I wanted to keep that family atmosphere,” Jackson said. “This program definitely has a family feel, but that also carries over to the entire University. I have never been to a place where they take you around to meet the other coaches and staff in the department, and they were so welcoming.
“I feel like I’m going to learn a lot here. This is one of the power conferences, and like the Big 12, there will be battles night in and night out. But the challenges of the SEC will present the opportunity to grow, and that is something I am looking forward to.”
In her two seasons at George Mason, Jackson tutored Taylor Brown to the team’s scoring title both years. Last season she claimed second team all-conference honors after averaging 21.4 ppg and setting a school single-season record with 643 points.
“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to add Dionnah Jackson to our staff. She really fits what I feel like are the important attributes and qualities we needed to add here at Mississippi State,” Schaefer said. “In addition to having five years of coaching experience, she also brings the experience of having played professionally following an All-American career under a Hall of Fame coach in Sherri Coale at Oklahoma.
“Dionnah has competed at the highest level, including a national championship game, so she will be a great addition to our staff from a competitive standpoint as well as being a great coach and teacher for our point guards. We have six national championship rings on our coaching staff, and now with Dionnah we have added an eighth Final Four ring. I took my time in making this decision because I wanted to make sure we got the very best person as well as the very best coach for the job. I believe we found that person in Dionnah.”
She broke into the coaching ranks at Southeast Missouri State where she helped Kara Wright to the Ohio Valley Conference All-Newcomer Team, the program’s first all-conference honor since 2008-09, and Bianca Beck to an overseas professional contract in her three years at the school.
While on the staff at Texas A&M, Schaefer became familiar with Jackson as he watched her during a heralded four-year career at Oklahoma.
She played 131 games with the Sooners, averaging 11.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.1 steals per contest. Jackson claimed honorable mention All-America honors as well as being named a finalist for the Wade and Naismith national player of the year awards.
Jackson wrapped her collegiate career in the Top 10 in 17 of Oklahoma’s 22 all-time record lists, including ranking second in assists (606), third in steals (265), fourth in rebounds (829), fifth in blocks (64) and ninth in scoring (1,491).
Her final season at OU also saw her earn First Team All-Big 12 accolades after landing second-team honors her junior and sophomore seasons. As a junior she was also named Big 12 Tournament MVP after leading Oklahoma to the second league title of her career.
In addition to the pair of Big 12 titles, the three-year starter at the point and a three-year team captain led OU to the NCAA Tournament all four years, including the program’s first Final Four and a runner-up as a freshman.
Her stellar career at Oklahoma earned her a first-round selection by the Detroit Shock in the 2005 WNBA Draft.
In 2007, she was picked up by the Chicago Sky and also played in Israel for Maccabi Tel Kabir. Jackson also spent tenures playing overseas in Switzerland and Greece.
A St. Louis native, she was the 2001 Missouri Player of the Year and a two-time all-state selection after leading Parkway High School to a 102-12 four-year record.
Jackson earned her degree in mass communication from Oklahoma in 2005 and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Southeast Missouri State in 2013.
(From MSU Media Relations)