May 9, 2005
UCLA women's basketball assistant coach Tia Jackson has accepted a position as assistant coach at Duke University, beginning on June 1, 2005. Jackson replaces LaVonda Wagner, who accepted the head coaching position at Oregon State in April.
"Tia has done some great things here, and she will be missed, but we all wish her the best at Duke," said UCLA head coach Kathy Olivier. "She has aspirations to become a head coach someday, and it's important for her to broaden her coaching experience in different environments around the country. She has had quality experience as an assistant here, at Stanford and at VCU, and Duke will provide her another opportunity to continue to learn different philosophies in the sport."
Jackson joined the UCLA staff in July of 2000 and has served as the recruiting coordinator each of those years. In the last four years, UCLA has signed a Top 6 recruiting class (2003) and a Top 10 class (2002) while bringing in four McDonald's and/or WBCA All-Americans.
Prior to arriving at UCLA, Jackson served as an assistant coach at Stanford in 1999 and at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) from 1996-99.
Following the 1996-97 season at VCU, Jackson spent the summer playing professionally in the WNBA in its inaugural season. She was the ninth overall pick in the draft and played in 28 games that season for the Phoenix Mercury. The Mercury won the Western Conference Championship under Head Coach Cheryl Miller. She averaged 2.8 points and 2.1 rebounds but was unable to continue her career due to injury.
Jackson was a 1995 graduate of the University of Iowa, where she helped lead the Hawkeyes to four Top 25 final rankings in five seasons she played for coach C. Vivian Stringer. During her junior season, she helped Iowa, 27-4 that year, to a berth in the 1993 Final Four and earned NCAA Mideast Regional All-Tournament honors. Jackson completed her career at Iowa ranked 10th on the all-time school list for rebounds with 507 and seventh in steals with 168. She averaged 10.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. As a senior at Iowa, she played with fellow Duke assistant coach Shannon Perry in 1995 when Perry was a freshman with the Hawkeyes.
With her move to Duke, Jackson, a native of Salisbury, Md., will return to the East Coast where she grew up and was an honorable mention All-America honoree as a senior at Mardela Springs (Md.) High School. Jackson totaled 3,108 points during her prep career.
"I can say being closer to home is a sigh of relief, because my family will be so close," said Jackson. "They will not only be able to see me on TV but will be able to attend many of my games, which was not a luxury at UCLA and Stanford. I think this is a time my family is smiling because I am closer to home and I can definitely say that I am reciprocating that same feeling."