These words were spoken by Ted Jackson, the father of Seminole High School's new Head Football Coach and Boy's Athletic Director, Kent Jackson.
The Jackson family moved to a farm in northern Gaines County in 1973 when Kent was in the third grade. As he grew up there was lots of work to be done on the farm, and Kent didn't particularly like any of it.
His dad told him, "If you don't like to farm, you better get a good education so you can get another type of job." Kent took his advice. After graduating from Seminole High in 1982 he went to Lubbock Christian University and got his Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education in 1986.
When he said he wanted to be a coach his dad explained to him, "You know coaches don't make very much money." He answered, "Yes, I know, but this country needs good Christian Coaches." He sees himself as a mentor and helping develop the lives of his players is of first importance.
When asked how he handles discipline, he said he tries to be firm but fair, and added, "If you can get self discipline ingrained in them you don't have to do much disciplining."
In his coaching he puts a big emphases on the middle school age boys. He said, "Kids won't remember all the games and the scores, but they will remember how the coaches made them feel. You want them to fall in love with the sport so they will keep playing at the varsity level. If you lose them at the middle school level, it is awfully hard to get them back at the varsity level."
Kirk started playing football in the seventh grade and recalls most of the coaches who mentored him. One of his fondest memories is of coach Tommy Joe Woodard, his seventh grade coach, with whom he formed a lasting friendship.
David Bornstein was the head coach at this time. Paul Russell was the offensive line coach. He still lives in Seminole and works in the oilfield. Milt Fitz was his junior varsity coach.
Mike Podzemney was defensive coordinator and coached the linebackers. He established an insurance agency in Odessa and still handles Kent's insurance. Mike Browning had just moved to Seminole before Kent graduated and he still coaches here.
Interestingly, a lasting memory of his Elementary School football was the black plastic shoes they were issued which made their feet very hot in hot weather.
Kent said he feels the State Champion basketball team of 1955 really turned Seminole sports around. The kids began seeing themselves as potential champions. And when Fred Mayes came in as the choir teacher and recruited some of the athletes to join the choir it opened the door for the students to get involved in other things besides sports. Such guys as Danny Wren and Glen Moore among others joined the choir and Kent was influenced to join the choir and did very well in both the choir and the pop choir. He and Terry Warlick formed a very good duet. He now encourages his players to get involved in other school activities.
Kent said he was just an average student in school and when asked what his favorite subjects were he jokingly responded, "Lunch and recess." Actually he liked English and taught it for 17 years while coaching.
Although he wasn't a member of the National Honor Society, he has had opportunities to speak at their meetings and is involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as well as participating in Coach's Outreach Bible Studies.
Kent met his wife, Elizabeth Burtham in college at Lubbock Christian University. She is from Lubbock. Her dad was head of the English Department at LCU. It may seem a little suspicious that Kent was majoring in English and married the daughter of the head of the English department, but Kent assures us there was nothing underhanded involved in this situation.
Elizabeth was also an English teacher, but is now Disability Service Coordinator at LCU.
Kent and Elizabeth have two sons. Trenton is in has second year at LCU and is leaning toward a degree in Digital Media, and Randal who will graduate from Coronado this year plans to attend LCU.
Kent said the biggest thrill he has had was coaching his own kids. Trenton was a quarterback in high school and Randall was a center. Both were also on the choir. Randall is president of the choir and president of the Student Body.
Elizabeth's parents were Carroll and Nancy Burtham. They both worked for LCU. He in the English Department and she was the Book Room Lady and worked in the library. She wasn't a teacher.
Kent's parents are Ted and Martha Jackson who live in Gaines County. Martha worked at Collin's Department Store in Denver City for several years until the store closed in 2000. Ted retired from farming in 2004.
They had four children; who all graduated from Seminole High School. Kirk and his wife Beth now live in Lubbock, Keva and her husband Rob Wilkinson live in Shallowater, and Kelli and her husband Kreg Allen live in Denton. And, of course, Kent and Elizabeth are on their way to Seminole.
Keva's husband, Rob Wilkinson was also a Seminole graduate. Kent, Kelli and Keva all graduated from LCU.
Kent Jackson has been coaching for 28 years at all levels: He has been head football coach for 20 of those years and head track coach for seven years. He has been athletic director for 14 years and five years as campus coordinator.
His coaching career started in Roby where he was assistant coach in 1986 and then head coach in 1987 and 88. He led the team to District Champions in 1988.
He went from there to Odessa High as Head Track Coach and Assistant Football Coach in 1991 and 92. His track team won the State Championship in 1992.
He was at Olney 1995-2000 where he led the team to two AA Area Finalists, four District Championships, one Division 1 Bi-District Championship, one AA Division 1 Regional Semi-Final Championship, and one AA Division 1 Quarterfinalist. He was influenced to come to Olney by David Williams a former Seminole resident who was basketball coach at Olney.
At Olney Kent had to mow the field and the practise field, paint the stripes and the logo in the middle of the field before each game. His dad said he wanted to get a picture of him doing this since he hated farm work so much. Kent said he and five other coaches using six push mowers could mow both fields in one hour and six minutes.
Jackson's next stop was in Sweetwater, 2001-2009 where he finished with a 69-26 record, never losing more than five games in any one season, and reaching the playoffs 11 years in a row. His teams won too many championships to list in this article. They reached the State Semi-finals in 2001.
In 2009-2011 Jackson opened the football program at the new school of Heritage in Frisco, Texas where he was Campus Coordinator and Head Football Coach. The team had a maverick schedule, meaning they were all freshmen and sophomores going against juniors and seniors, (a junior varsity against varsities). His boys battled hard, and Jackson felt they were ready to meet their foes on equal footing the next year.
From 2011 until this spring he coached at Coronado High School in Lubbock. Jackson said it was a rough experience from a win-loss record, but was rewarding to see the kids get in there and fight. He left in with good friends among players and parents.
Kent Jackson said he is very grateful to get to come home to Seminole and considers it a unique opportunity to work with our boys.
It will probably be in the summer before they will be able to sell their home and make the move to Seminole. In the meantime he will be coming back and forth. Elizabeth will continue her job until the end of the school year and Randal will finish his school year at Coronado.
Jackson is a deeply religious man and is a member of the church of Christ.
"Being a champion is a lifestyle, not just a title."