EUGENE, Ore. - The Northwest Christian University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced during an afternoon press conference on Wednesday that former NBA and University of Oregon basketball player Luke Jackson has been named the tenth Head Coach for the Beacon Men's Basketball program.
NCU President Joe Womack said, "We are thrilled at the opportunity to welcome Luke to the NCU community. His experience and knowledge about the game of basketball coupled with his deep faith and passion to help young men grow present an exciting confluence with the mission of Beacon Athletics and the University as a whole."
Jackson grew up in nearby Creswell, Oregon where he was a two-time 3A State Player of the Year at Creswell High School before signing with the Ducks. A consummate winner, Jackson was a 3A State Champion before guiding the University of Oregon to the 2002 Pac-10 Championship and a No. 2 seed for the NCAA National Tournament.
Jackson said, "I've had personal relationships over the years with both Coach Anderson and Coach Lipp and had many friends go to NCU. I've always felt that it was a quality institution that was committed to both their values and their basketball program. Being a former professional basketball player and a man of faith, I feel very excited for the chance to not only help players excel on the basketball court but also to grow as men."
Coach Jackson was a three-time First-Team All-Pac 10 selection, a First-Team All-American as a senior and a finalist for both the John R. Wooden Award and the Naismith College Player of the Year Award.
Jackson was the tenth overall draft pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he spent his first two seasons. He also played for the Los Angeles Clippers, Toronto Raptors, and Miami Heat.
Coach Jackson also played in the NBDL, where he had stints with the Idaho Stampede in 2006-2007, 2008-2009, and 2010-2011. He led the D-League in three-point shooting in 2007, won a D-League Championship with the Stampede in 2008 and was a D-League All-Star in 2010.
Most recently, Jackson played for Hapoel Jerusalem from the Israeli Basketball Super League.
Jackson has had an extensive background coaching in high profile basketball camps, including the Nike All-American Camp and the Michael Jordan Camp.
"I have had an amazing journey through my professional career as a basketball player," said Jackson, "but I'm excited for this to not be about me but about the players and how I can help them succeed on the court and in life."
Jackson, is the tenth head coach in program history, which dates back to 1959. He replaces out-going coach Corey Anderson, who also serves NCU as the Athletic Director. For the past four seasons, Anderson has pulled double-duty as the head coach for the Beacons, where he has led the team to 42 wins and one post season appearance. As the athletic director, Anderson has overseen the expansion of Beacon Athletics from three teams to twelve and was instrumental in NCU's transition from the USCAA to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Anderson also spent four seasons as an assistant coach with the Beacon basketball program.
Anderson said, "With my three little boys getting older and their schedules getting busier, it is the right time for me to step away from coaching. I want to be able to give more time to my role as husband, father, and son while focusing my professional energy and leadership to the athletic department as a whole."
"I felt it important to attract a coach to provide the needed time, leadership, and talent to move the men's basketball team to the next level and am excited to say that man is Luke Jackson. His style of play and work ethic was contagious as a player and I look forward to seeing that same style translate on the sidelines as a coach."
Jackson is set to assume coaching and recruiting responsibilities immediately.