Donnie Jackson is set to begin his second year as head coach of the Tiger basketball team. Jackson was highly sought after by a number of schools following a stellar eight-year run as head coach at Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa.
Jackson is no stranger to Cowley as he previously spent four years as an assistant coach at the school before becoming the head coach at Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa where he built the Mavericks into a national contender.
Jackson's overall record at Northern Oklahoma College was 183-69 (72.6%). He led the Mavs to a 96-38 (71.6%) record in Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference play, while guiding the team to a 13-8 overall mark in tournament play.
His final season at NOC he led the Mavs to a record of 24-2 and helped them advance to the Elite Eight at the NJCAA Division I National Tournament where they lost to eventual national champion, Coffeyville, in overtime. NOC won the conference title and were Region 2 champs.
The Mavericks also received an at-large bid for the 2020 NJCAA Division I National Tournament. That bid qualified the Mavs for the tournament for the first time in 20 years.
Jackson played and coached under former Cowley College head coach Tommy DeSalme. Jackson played two seasons at Sterling College (2000-2002), playing for DeSalme his senior year. Following his senior season, he was named an NAIA Honorable Mention All-American and a Unanimous First Team All-KCAC player after averaging 14.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game and helping the Warriors to a 19-11 overall mark.
Jackson then spent four seasons as an assistant coach to DeSalme at Sterling College before moving to Kansas Wesleyan. While at Sterling, he helped lead the Warriors to two NAIA national tournament appearances (2004 and 2006), a KCAC conference tournament championship and four consecutive second place conference finishes (2003-2006).
Jackson spent one season as an assistant coach at Kansas Wesleyan University, helping to lead the Coyotes to a 28-4 record as well as a 2007 KCAC conference and postseason championship. Kansan Wesleyan also had a 19 game winning streak. The Coyotes advanced to the second round of the NAIA National Tournament and finished with a No. 6 national ranking.
He then spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Independence Community College, aiding the Pirates to a record of 45-19 overall and 29-7 in the Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division. Indy also advanced to two Region VI quarterfinals. In his first year, he assisted in leading Independence to a 26-6 overall record, a No. 16 national ranking and a second place conference finish. Independence also had a 21 game winning streak.
Jackson followed DeSalme to Cowley where he helped lead the Tigers to 91 wins in his four years at the college. Cowley also captured a conference title and finished in the top three in the conference each of those four seasons (2010-2013). The Tigers appeared in two Region VI quarterfinals, one Region VI semifinal and one Region VI finals appearance. The program produced Iowa State signee Tyrus McGee, Creighton signee James Milliken, Kansas State signee James Watson and Duquesne signee Dominique McKoy, among others. McGee, a First Team NJCAA All-American, finished as the third all-time leading scorer in Cowley history and was named Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year and Jayhawk East Player of the Year. While, Milliken finished as the sixth all-time leading scorer in Tiger history.
As the top assistant coach for DeSalme for 11 seasons, Jackson helped compile a 230-119 overall record, including a 136-59 record in his six seasons as a junior college coach. Combine that with his head coaching record of 183-69, and Jackson has been a part of 413 wins in 19 seasons.
At NOC, Jackson led the Mavericks to two sixth place NJCAA finishes in overall team GPA in men's basketball. (3.06 in 2015-16 and 3.23 in 2016-17). The Mavs also finished with a team GPA of 3.1 in 2019-20, good for 29th overall nationally.
Jackson helped place 27 NCAA Division I players, 24 NCAA Division II players, three NCAA Division three players, and 17 NAIA players in his 14-year junior college coaching career. A total of 17 NOC Mavs signed with NCAA Division I schools in his. He also coached five NJCAA All-Americans, two Jayhawk East Players of the Year, two Jayhawk East Freshmen of the Year, two OCAC- Freshman of the Year, 21 All-Conference players (12 first-team), 16 All-Region players (10 first-team) and 12 All-Tournament Team players. Eleven players have gone on and played professionally, including two in the NBA Summer League.
A graduate of Highland Park High School in Topeka, Kan., Jackson played two seasons (1998-2000) in the Jayhawk Conference at Allen County Community College before continuing at Sterling College. He completed his undergraduate degree in Exercise Science at Sterling and his graduate degree at Fort Hays State University.
He has two children, Jaxson and Emory.