After 27 years at the lower levels of college hoops, Brad Jackson left Western Washington University Friday to become an assistant to Lorenzo Romar at Washington.
He replaces Raphael Chillious, who is leaving after three years to join the staff at Villanova in Philadelphia under Jay Wright.
The Vikings of Bellingham were 31-5 and won their first Division II national championship last season.
Jackson said in a statement released by the school: “The position is really a great fit and the timing is right. But we’ve worked very hard to establish something here and it’s hard to leave that. A lot of great young men have played here and I take a lot of pride in what’s been accomplished.”
Western said Tony Dominguez, an assistant under Jackson for the last 19 years, will take over as the Vikings interim head coach.
Jackson, 60, is the winningest coach in school history with a 518-279 record and ranks third among college coaches in the state, behind Washington’s Marv Harshman (637) and Central Washington’sDean Nicholson (620). WWU has reached the postseason 19 times under Jackson.
“I think we got an absolute steal,” Romar said in a statement released by UW. “You hire a basketball coach off of winning a national championship … it doesn’t happen very often. I’m just ecstatic that he has decided to do this.
“I have tried to hire him before and it just didn’t work out. He is successful. Very accomplished and knows the Northwest. He has been here forever. He is definitely going to help our program.”
Jackson played basketball and baseball at Washington State. He graduated in 1975. He served five years as an assistant at Seattle Pacific and five years as a high school coach before taking over at WWU in 1985.