Then Brusly assistant Dimario Jackson cuts down the net after Brusly’s quarterfinal win over Ville Platte in March 2020. Jackson was named Port Allen head boys basketball coach earlier this week.

Less than two weeks after Derrick Jones departed for Catholic High, Port Allen found its guy to lead the basketball program.

The school announced Tuesday morning that Dimario Jackson Sr. will be the next head boys basketball coach at Port Allen.

Jackson, 25, an Addis native, returns to West Baton Rouge Parish where he played basketball and football at Brusly High and served as an assistant football and basketball coach at Brusly from 2018-2020. Last season he was an assistant coach to Jon McClinton at Zachary High where he helped the Broncos take home the Class 5A state title.

“It’s an awesome feeling being able to go back to West Baton Rouge parish and be a part of Port Allen High School and the Port Allen Community!  It’s a parish that helped groom me into the professional that I am at this point.”

After starring on the hardwood at Brusly, Jackson played two years at Northeast Mississippi Community College before playing two more seasons at the University of North Alabama.

In Jackson’s time at Brusly as an assistant to Kirby Loupe, the Panther basketball team reached the quarterfinals in his first and advanced to the state tournament in Lake Charles in 2020.

“My four-year tenure has been great as an assistant coach,” Jackson said. “Being able to learn from the different administrations, coach Jon and coach Loupe has prepared me for this opportunity and I am truly appreciative of the knowledge I’ve learned from them.”

Port Allen has played in the state title game three of the last four years, winning back-to-back titles in the last two years under Jones.

Jackson said he knows expectations will come with the job but said that it’s part of being a coach.

“Coach Jones did a great job during his tenure,” he said. “This program has already been elevated. We want to keep elevating it. We don’t want to meet expectations, we want to exceed them. We want to represent Port Allen and West Baton Rouge Parish in a championship way every day. I expect us to win every day at everything we do. I want us to win in the classroom, in the community and on the basketball court.”

Port Allen Principal James Jackson thanked Derrick Jones for helping bring the program to where it is and talked about what the school was looking for in the next head coach.

“Coach Jones was the right guy at the right time for our program,” he said. “He took over a program that had made it to the quarterfinals several years in a row and we were looking to go from being a good program to a great program. Coach Jones was instrumental in getting us to that. We’re very grateful for the time he spent with us and we feel like he’ll always have a place at our school in our community.

“This time around we were looking for someone who could maintain that level of excellence and continue to help our students to become better men in the classroom and in the community,” he added. We think Dimario is the perfect guy for the job.”

Principal Jackson said the new head coach separated himself from the other candidates.

“He quickly established himself as the frontrunner for this position,” he said. “I have never had so many people reach out with positive comments to say about a candidate. When I met with Dimario, I told him he has big shoes to fill because if he’s half the person that he’s described to be by colleagues and friends then we absolutely got us a steal by him being our next coach. We’re excited about the energy that he’s going to bring, the passion and the knowledge that he’s going to bring.” 

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