Former Hornet volleyball player Ed Jackson completed his fourth season as Sacramento State’s indoor assistant coach in 2018, and his fourth year at the beach co-head coach in 2019.
During Jackson’s four seasons with the indoor program, Sacramento State has combined for an 88-45 overall record and a 51-14 mark in league play. The Hornets have won at least 20 games in three of his four seasons, posted back-to-back Big Sky South Division championships (2017, 2016), and are 31-1 in Big Sky regular season home matches during his tenure.
Two years ago (2017), the team went 26-10 overall and 15-1 in the Big Sky, winning the league’s regular season title for the first time since 2007. The team had three winning streaks of at least six games long, including a 10-gamer from Sept. 21-Oct. 21. In addition, Sacramento State put together streaks of 18 straight Big Sky regular season victories, and 26 straight home wins over league foes. The Hornets’ 15-1 conference record tied for the program’s best mark since joining the league in 1996 (the 1998 and 2006 squads also accomplished the feat).
Four members of the 2017 team were named all-conference, including league MVP Kennedy Kurtz, as well as fellow first team all-league selections Shannon Boyle and Mikaela Nocetti, and second team all-league choice Lana Brown. Kurtz became the first Big Sky MVP since 2007, and the Hornets placed three players on the first team for just the second time in program history.
By virtue of winning the league’s 2017 Big Sky regular season championship, Sacramento State hosted the conference tournament, winning their first two matches before falling in five sets in the championship match. Still, the Hornets made their first national postseason appearance since 2007 when the team qualified for the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC). Statistically, the team ranked second in the nation in total kills (1,972), fourth in digs (2,507) and ninth in aces (197). In addition, Kurtz easily led the nation in assists with 1,611.
The 2016 team won the program’s first Big Sky South Division title and earned the No. 2 seed at the Big Sky Tournament after posting a 20-12 overall record and 13-3 league mark. Headlined by first team all-league setter Kurtz and Big Sky Libero of the Year Lexie Skalbeck, Sacramento State received five all-conference selections, the most of any of the Big Sky’s 12 teams. In addition, the five selections tied for the most ever awarded to the program since Sacramento State joined the Big Sky.
In Jackson’s first year with the program, the 2015 Hornet squad to a 26-7 overall record and a 12-4 mark in league. Despite Sacramento State being picked 10th out of 12 teams in the Big Sky’s preseason coaches poll, the Hornets finished the regular season with the third best conference record. Moreover, Sacramento State made an 18-win improvement over the 2014 season with nearly the same roster. The 18-win improvement was the best mark in the nation among the NCAA’s 329 Div. I volleyball programs.
Not only did the Hornets improve their overall record by 18 wins, the team also quadrupled its conference win total from the 2014 season. In addition, after finishing 2014 ranked 280th in the NCAA RPI ratings, the team jumped all the way up to 78th in the final 2015 report. Sacramento State’s hitting percentage of .256 was the best mark in 20 years and the second best mark in the program’s Div. I era (1991-pres.). The Hornets’ winning percentage of .788 was the 25th best mark in the nation, and, statistically, the team ranked among the nation’s top 40 teams in aces per set (16th; 1.66), kills per set (32nd) and hitting percentage (36th).
Academically, Sacramento State has combined for 18 Big Sky all-academic selections during his first four seasons.
Jackson, who was inducted into the Sacramento State men’s volleyball Hall of Fame in 2009, played four seasons for the Hornets (1992-94, 1997), was a two-time All-American and helped lead the Hornets to a Collegiate Club Volleyball National Championship in 1997. Jackson and current Sacramento State head coach Ruben Volta were teammates for the Hornets in 1992 and 1993.
The San Diego native has 20 years of collegiate volleyball coaching experience, which includes serving as head coach of Div. II Academy of Art in San Francisco before coming to Sacramento State. Prior to that, he had assistant coaching stops at Fresno State, William & Mary and UC Santa Barbara, and was the recruiting coordinator at both Fresno State and William & Mary. He also oversaw a beach volleyball training program at Academy of Art, and helped with a sand training program at Fresno State.
Jackson spent three years (2012-14) at Academy of Art, where the Urban Knights improved their overall and conference records each season of his tenure. Last year, he coached the program’s first All-American in outside hitter Melissa Brum, and the Knights captured the program’s first AVCA Team Academic Award with a 3.35 team grade point average in 2013.
At Fresno State (2008-11), Jackson was the top assistant and helped coach the Bulldogs to improved records during his four seasons. He was the team’s recruiting coordinator, trained the setters, oversaw all aspects of video technology, and helped with the team’s in-match strategy.
Prior to Fresno State, Jackson was the associate head coach at William & Mary. He spent five seasons (2003-07) assisting in the turnaround of a program that went from seven wins to 22 wins in three years. During his time at William & Mary, Jackson was responsible for recruiting, practice planning, video analysis and in-match strategy.
Prior to joining the staff at William & Mary, Jackson was an assistant coach at UC Santa Barbara for one season (2002) where he helped coach the team to a 30-3 overall record, an 18-0 Big West Conference mark and a Sweet 16 appearance at the NCAA Championships. He assisted in the development of two AVCA All-Americans along with four first team All-Big West Conference selections.
Jackson also coached the men’s club program at UC Davis in 1998, and served as a graduate assistant during the 1994-95 academic year for the women’s team at Eastern Illinois. On the prep level, Jackson served as the director of volleyball and head coach of the varsity team at Sacramento’s Rio Americano High School, compiling a combined record of 39-6 in two seasons (1999-00). Under Jackson, the Raiders advanced to at least the quarterfinal round of the state championship tournament both years (including the semifinals in 1999), and won the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Sac-Joaquin sectional championships both seasons.
As a player at Sacramento State, Jackson played at three different positions during his four seasons, including two years at outside hitter, one season at setter and one season as the team’s rightside hitter. His All-American seasons came at two different positions, including outside hitter in 1992 and rightside hitter in 1997.
Jackson has both a bachelor’s degree (1994, psychology) and teaching credential (1999, physical education) from Sacramento State, and added a master’s degree in physical education from Eastern Illinois in 1995.
Jackson has two children, Eddie (10) and Kellan (8).