FRANKLIN, Mass.- The Dean College Basketball court has been renamed in honor of John A. Jackson. Jackson, who worked at Dean for 37 years, retired last month.
On Thursday, June 1st, family, friends, alumni, faculty and staff gathered inside the Pieri Gymnasium to celebrate John Jackson as he said goodbye to Dean after 37 years of employment.
The scoreboard set the mood, as the numbers 80 vs. 17 were displayed, depicting the start (1980) and the end (2017) of John's career. The crowd was greeted by Athletic Director Todd Vasey, who thanked John for being a great friend and colleague throughout their years together.
Vasey shared John's hefty resume, which included positions such as Head Coach for Dean's baseball, basketball and softball teams; faculty member; academic department chair; athletic director; and his most recent position, director of compliance.
Vasey continued by sharing a few stats about John. During his 10-year reign as head basketball coach (1980-1990), John recorded 120 wins – the most wins of any men's basketball coach in Dean history. During John's 27 years as athletic director (1988-2015) he led 4,741 athletic contests. John recorded 2383 game wins, 2278 losses and 80 ties. He worked with 81 head coaches. John won 38 regional titles, four district titles, five northeast football conference championships and one football bowl win.
Following Todd's speech, Vice President of Enrollment, Cindy Kozil spoke of John's accomplishments outside of Dean College, which included such honors as being named a three-time award recipient of the Athletic Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Junior College Northeast Region; President of the National Association of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators; Commissioner of the Northeast Football Conference; a three-time award recipient of the New England Junior College Softball Coach of the Year (2002, 2003, 2014), and past President of the Wrentham youth baseball and softball association to name a few.
President Rooney recognized John's family – his two sons and his wife, Sharon who were all in attendance and thanked them for their contributions as a family to Dean.
Dr. Rooney continued by celebrating John's hard-work on college initiatives that have included the construction of the baseball and softball dugouts, the naming of the Dale Lippert Football Field, the synthetic grass installation at Grant Field, and acknowledged John's participation in the process of moving the College's athletic program from NJCAA to NCAA. She also noted John's 2015 induction to the Dean College Hall of Fame and the newly created John Jackson Sportsmanship Award, which will be presented annually to the student-athlete who best demonstrates the qualities of sportsmanship.
After sharing John's success and exceptional work for the College, Dr. Rooney revealed a surprise. "After so much success and such a loyal commitment to the college, John we wanted your name to be a forever part of Dean Athletics. Every time someone steps in the gym we want to be reminded of your legacy. We are now all standing on the John Jackson Court."
John thanked his family and coworkers and reminisced about his tenure. "I never considered this work. I looked forward to coming to here every day and I hope everyone can experience that once in their lives."
Thank you, John. We are deeply grateful for all that you have done for Dean College.