Signing class features seven high school and four junior college transfers from Florida
Owls sign 12 high school and two junior college standout players
Through his coaching and recruiting efforts, Jason Jackson has helped Florida Atlantic remain one of the top baseball programs in the Sun Belt Conference and NCAA South-Central region. He joined the coaching staff in the summer of 2008.
During Jackson's four seasons the program has captured two Sun Belt Conference titles and had an appearance in the 2010 Gainesville Regional, advancing to the championship game.
Jackson's role as pitching coach was evident in 2010 as he guided the Owls to their first Sun Belt Conference regular-season championship. The pitching staff compiled the fourth-best earned run average in the conference, but most importantly lowered the ERA by an entire run from the 2009 squad.
In 2012, the Owls went wire-to-wire to capture their second Sun Belt Conference title in a three-year span. Reliever R.J. Alvarez and starting pitcher Ryan Garton received first-team all-conference honors, marking the third-consecutive season that FAU has had the first-team all-Sun Belt reliever.
Jackson helped starting pitcher Paul Davis and reliever Hugh Adams to earn first team all-league honors following the 2011 season. Both players also were recognized as All-South Central region selections by the National Baseball Coaches Association of America. Adams led the conference with 10 saves, while Davis made the most of his only season at FAU, posting a 10-1 record with a 2.87 ERA.
Jackson has coached five pitchers that have been selected in the past three Major League Baseball Drafts: Alvarez and Garton in 2012 after Davis was drafted in 2011. Following the 2010 campaign, Ryan Bernal and Mike Gipson were selected. Reliever Andy Mee signed an independent professional contact following the 2011 season.
Alvarez was a third-round selection by the Los Angeles Angels, marking the fourth-highest draft pick in program history.
"Not only has Jason proven to be an excellent coach, but he is a good person who will represent the University with class and dignity," said John McCormack, FAU head baseball coach.
Jackson spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons as an assistant coach at the University of South Alabama (USA). Two of Jackson's pitchers at USA were selected in the 2008 MLB Draft. Under his direction, USA pitchers struck out 188 more batters than they walked during the last season.
Jackson's collegiate coaching career spans seven seasons, with six at the NCAA Division I level. A brief stint as pitching coach at North Florida Community College was followed by a move to Macon, Ga., in 2003 to serve as assistant coach at Mercer University. Jackson was essential in establishing a number of new university pitching records during his three-year tenure at Mercer, and was elevated to the program's recruiting coordinator in 2006.
"I am extremely excited to work with Coach McCormack, who is one of the most well-respected people in college baseball," said Jackson. "The Florida Atlantic program has so much tradition, to be part of what has been established here and then to take on the challenge of raising the bar even higher is a special opportunity."
A native of Tallahassee, Jackson holds a master's degree in sports administration from Florida State University, where he also completed his undergraduate course work in physical education.