University of Central Arkansas men’s basketball coach Corliss Williamson has hired two assistant coaches, Jonathan Jackson and Anthony Walker, to partially fill out his first Bears’ coaching staff.
Jackson comes to UCA from Arkansas Baptist College, where he worked the previous three years alongside Williamson. Jackson played and coached at Philander Smith after a prep playing career at Little Rock Hall. He was the head coach at Arkansas Baptist College when the Buffaloes won the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) national championship in 2004 and was named the USCAA national coach of the year.
"I’ve had the opportunity to work with coach Jackson the past three years at Arkansas Baptist," said Williamson, "and I know the kind of person he is.We have the same philosophy and work ethic and he knows what I expect from our players and this program. I felt like this was a great opportunity for myself and for our program to have someone like Ccach Jackson come aboard."
Jackson, who has also coached at Henderson State University, was a two-year letterman at point guard for Philander Smith and also played with the Arkansas Express, a touring exhibition team, for 10 years. He once scored 21 points in an exhibition game against the Williamson-led Arkansas Razorbacks in 1994, the season they went on to win the NCAA national championship.
"He will bring an intensity to our practices that I’m excited about,’ said Williamson, who was hired to lead the UCA program on March 12. "He was a point guard as a player so he’s definitely going to be able to help us in the areas of grooming and growing our point guard play. Coach Jackson is also a big defensive guy. He ran our defense for us at Arkansas Baptist. I trust him because he knows what I want from our defense, and he’ll make sure the players are getting the job done."
Walker, who played collegiately at Hendrix College, comes to UCA from a four-year stint as an assistant at Southern Arkansas in Magnolia. While at Hendrix, he was a member of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Academic Honor Roll, was president of the Hendrix Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was awarded the Carl Babcock Award in 2006 for character and leadership in athletics.
"Coach Walker came highly recommended from coach (Eric) Bozeman at SAU,’ said Williamson. "He is a young guy who is really a workaholic. His interview alone was what really blew me away. His enthusiasm in wanting to be here and wanting to be in this community is unbelievable. He has a passion and a hunger for knowledge, to grow as a coach, and that was intriguing to me."
Williamson said Walker will have varied duties on the staff, ranging from recruiting to scheduling to basketball camps.
"He really gained some great experience working with coach Bozeman," he said. "He is someone who can help us develop players, can prepare scouting reports, can recruit. Those are all parts of this program that we’re going to have to pull together, and I think’s he’s the perfect fit for this staff.
"As far as recruiting, he’s young enough to get out there on the road, and he’s excited about that. That’s one of the points that really sold me on him, besides the on-court basketball knowledge. He wants to get out there and find players. He wants to get better at it and at the same time, make us better.
"I think he has the work ethic and the attitude and the personality that one day he will be a very good head coach somewhere.’