Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Jackson Eyes Top Spot

Charles Nailen/The Hoya Assistant Coach Jaren Jackson has spent one year at Georgetown and hopes to take the top coaching spot.

One month since former men’s basketball coach Craig Esherick was fired, Georgetown has yet to release the name of a new coach.

Widespread speculation centers on Princeton Head Coach John Thompson III, who was named in an April 8 Washington Post report as being the leading candidate. Georgetown will not release the names of any candidates, and the head of the search committee, James Higgins (GSB ’70), did not immediately return phone calls.

Despite the vast secrecy with which the search is being conducted, one potential candidate has identified himself: Assistant Coach Jaren Jackson (GSB ’89), who said in a telephone interview Thursday that he wants the job.

A Web site,, was created on March 21 to promote Jackson as the choice for head coach. It contains a letter to University President John J. DeGioia and the signatures of more than 30 former players, including recent standouts Courtland Freeman (COL ’04) and Kevin Braswell (COL ’01).

Jackson said he has not spoken to Higgins or DeGioia, but that he did initially speak to Athletic Director Emeritus Frank Rienzo, who is supporting Higgins in the search, and expressed his interest.

Despite his status as an assistant coach, Jackson said he had no knowledge of who the next coach might be.

“They work so hard to keep this so quiet,” Jackson said. “Everybody’s just waiting. It’s a waiting process. I didn’t think it was going to be this long.”

Thompson has been quoted in several reports as saying he has spoken with Georgetown, but he has not elaborated. Sports Information Director Bill Shapland and Assistant Vice President for Communications Julie Green Bataille both said they had no indication of a timeframe for an announcement.

“This is different from anything I’ve ever experienced. I don’t know what’s going on as far as the process,” Jackson said. “Hopefully they’ll make something happen soon. I think a number of people, including the coaches and players, are anxious.”

Jackson said that he has a desire to stay with the program as an assistant, even if someone else is chosen as head coach.

“I would want to be part of this program, whoever comes in,” Jackson said. “I’ve been with Georgetown for a long time, and I feel like my day is going to come when I become a coach.”

While Jackson has no head coaching experience – he spent the past 12 years playing professional basketball, winning the NBA championship as a San Antonio Spur in 1999 – Thompson took his Princeton team to the NCAA tournament in two out of his three years as head coach.

While the program has a history of hiring Georgetown graduates – three of the four current assistant coaches are former Hoyas – DeGioia promised a “national search” at the time of Esherick’s firing.

“We don’t compromise, ever, for the very best person for the job and our assessment will be who is the very best person for this job at this point in time,” DeGioia told THE HOYA on arch 18. “It will be open, but certainly people who have a grasp of the history and tradition and culture of this place will bring great strengths to that assessment process. We value both the grasp of the tradition and the talent of the individual.”

Thompson attended Princeton, where he played under legendary coach Pete Carril and graduated in 1988. He served as an assistant under Bill Carmody for five years.

“It’s going to be interesting as to how it turns out, but I hope they take their time and go through a number of candidates and pick out the right person,” Jackson said. “From my relationship with Georgetown over the years, they’ve been very good as far as keeping what has happened in the past in mind, remember how it was, and also just keeping in mind that it can be like that once again.”

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