Murphy’s former football coach Rico Jackson hired at Tarrant
Rico Jackson, who quit as head coach at Murphy High on Monday, was approved as head coach at Tarrant on Tuesday night.
Jackson went 13-18 in three years at Murphy.
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He led the Panthers to the playoffs in his freshman season, though their record fell to 5-5 the second year and just 2-8 in 2021. Jackson told AL.com on Tuesday night that his wife took a job at an elementary school in Hoover. in December.
“My plan was to stay in Murphy and run it long distances, but it became a constraint,” he said. “This Tarrant opportunity presented itself. It’s a good opportunity. I feel like they are invested in seeing the program succeed.
Jackson said he enjoyed his three years at Murphy, one of the most historic schools — not only in Mobile — but also in the state.
“No. 1, I have to thank (former manager) Joe Toomey for the opportunity and (current manager) Sean Clark for allowing me to continue coaching when he took over,” he said. “The first year was really exciting. I felt like the second year we were really hurt by COVID and last year we were very young. We were kind of in rebuilding mode. Murphy is doing a good job. He should attract a lot of quality candidates. I feel like I’m leaving him in a good place where new staff can continue to improve him.
Jackson will officially start at Tarrant on Monday. He replaces Jesse Reed, who went 0-8 in his only season. Prior to that, Eric Johnson spent 14 years in charge of the Wildcats. He was 51-89 overall.
Tarrant hasn’t won a playoff game since 2006.
“I feel like it’s similar to the situation I took on at Murphy’s,” Jackson said. “At Murphy, (former coach) Muskingum (Barnes) did a good job, laid a good foundation. We just had to go out and get the guys out. We will do the same to Tarrant. They have brand new land and a country house. This should help attract children.
Jackson is 56-51 in 11 years as a head coach. He spent three years in Fairfield, two in Aliceville and two more in Escambia County.
His best season came in Aliceville in 2016. He led the Jackets to a 13-2 final.