Tia Jackson Named @CanesWBB Assistant Coach

Tia Jackson Named @CanesWBB Assistant Coach

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – University of Miami women’s basketball head coach Katie Meier announced Thursday the hiring of Tia Jackson as an assistant coach.

A 19-year coaching veteran with four years of head coaching experience, Jackson comes to Miami after spending the past four seasons as an assistant under Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer at Rutgers.

“Let me first thank Coach Stringer and Rutgers University for the awesome opportunity there,” Jackson said. “This was not the easiest decision, as Coach Stringer has played such a vital part in my life as my college coach and mentor.

“This is an amazing opportunity to be a part of the UM family in what is considered one of the nation’s most competitive conferences.  The environment has an exciting and contagious buzz that is incomparable.  To be able to serve in a capacity with such an extraordinary group of individuals is a godsend.”

Jackson takes over the spot vacated by Darrick Gibbs, who left Miami after 10 years as an assistant to take the head coaching position at North Florida.

“With the departure of Coach Gibbs, I knew I needed to replace a tremendous amount of experience, and a very special person,” Meier said. “Our players and staff are family, and I’m so excited we were able to find such a quality person and coach in Tia Jackson. This is a great day for The U family.”

Jackson, who has both played and coached in the Final Four, was the head coach at Washington from 2007-11. While there, she signed a number of talented recruiting classes, and her 2008 recruiting haul was ranked No. 11 in the nation.

After the 2011 season, Jackson joined the Rutgers coaching staff and helped guide the Scarlet Knights to a trio of postseason appearances, including two trips to the NCAA Tournament. This past season, Rutgers advanced to the second round for the first time since 2011.

In each of Jackson’s first two years at Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights signed the nation’s third-ranked recruiting class.

“Tia is an incredibly significant hire for me personally and for this program,” Meier said. “We have positioned Miami as one of the nation’s elite basketball programs and hiring Tia pushes us over the top. She’s a tremendous recruiter, terrific with her X’s and O’s, and brings head coaching experience that will enhance our program.”

Jackson began her coaching career as an assistant at VCU just one year after graduating from college. She worked for the Rams from 1996-1999.

After her three seasons in Richmond, Va., Jackson spent one year as an assistant coach at Stanford, working under another Hall of Fame coach, Tara VanDerveer, at one of the nation’s most tradition-rich programs.

The Cardinal made the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Jackson’s lone season in Palo Alto, Calif. Jackson then moved south in the Golden State and joined the staff at UCLA, where she was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.

In five years with the Bruins, Jackson helped the program sign a pair of top-10 recruiting classes and ink four McDonald’s and/or WBCA All-Americans. UCLA made the NCAA Tournament in 2004, its first appearance in four years.

After five seasons at UCLA, Jackson went to Duke, where she worked an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator from 2005-07. In both of her years in Durham, N.C., Jackson helped the Blue Devils sign top-five recruiting classes featuring a quartet of McDonald’s All-Americans.

Duke made it all the way to the NCAA Championship for the second time program history in Jackson’s first year on staff, and then reached the Sweet 16 the following season. She will now be returning to the ACC eight years later.

“I have known Kate for over a decade now, and respect all that she has done and continues to do for young aspiring women,” Jackson said. “How she breathes life into everyone around her is nothing short of admirable.  I am honored to be joining such a dynamic family, and want to give a major thank you to Kate and the Miami Hurricanes.”

Originally from Salisbury, Md., Jackson scored 3,108 points in her career at Mardela Springs High School, before moving on to play for Stringer at Iowa.

The Hawkeyes finished in the top 25 four times during Jackson’s career and advanced to the Final Four in 1993, ending the season with a 27-4 record. She was named to the Mideast Regional All-Tournament team that year.

Jackson averaged 10.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game as a Hawkeye and graduated from Iowa in 1995. A two-time All-Big Ten Honorable Mention, Jackson ranks top-25 all-time at Iowa in points and rebounds, as well as No. 12 in steals, through the 2014-15 season.

Selected ninth in the 1997 WNBA Draft by the Phoenix Mercury, Jackson helped the team finish first in the Western Conference during the league’s inaugural season. 

“As with every hire, we try to find the best person who will also be a great fit for this university,” Meier said. “I’ve known and admired Tia for years and her resume is outstanding, but this hire was all about the players. Tia will be a great sounding board and a great advisor, in addition to bringing a depth of basketball knowledge.”

For more information on University of Miami women’s basketball, follow @CanesWBB.