Will Ted Jackson return to Dallas?

First Posted: 12/12/2014

Ted Jackson Sr. said Thursday that he is ready to apply for the Dallas High School head football coaching job and believes he has the assistant coaches ready to join him for the challenge of returning the Mountaineers to their previous level of play.

“We’re prepared to put a staff together again to put Dallas back on top,” Jackson said during the afternoon.

Jackson revealed Thursday morning that, after speaking with coaches, family and friends, he had decided to apply for the job he held for 27 years before being relieved of his duties three years ago.

The Dallas School Board opened the position held by Bob Zaruta for the past three seasons Monday night.

Jackson said he is not certain whether his son, Ted Jackson Jr., may wind up being a candidate for the job as well. He did, however, say that if either wound up being Dallas head coach the other would be there as an assistant helping in the process.

“He’s very good at what he does,” Jackson Sr. said of his son, a former Dallas boys basketball coach who is the offensive coordinator of the football team at Wyoming Valley West, “and he’ll be looking for a head coaching job down the road.”

Jackson would want others he has coached with before by his side if he can regain the position that he fought hard to try to keep.

“It’s a program we built together,” said Jackson, who also noted support from former players and their parents while helping him decide to pursue the position again.

Jackson was head coach for 27 years, leading the Mountaineers to a 227-83-3 record and multiple titles, including the 1993 state Class 2A championship.

“I think I’m as qualified or more qualified than anybody who will apply,” he said.

Jackson began getting questions about his interest first thing Tuesday morning.

Zaruta coached the Mountaineers to a 14-18 record and two playoff appearances in three seasons. Zaruta said Monday he would reapply for the job after the board voted 7-2 to open the head football coaching position.

Jackson was suspended by District 2 of the PIAA in 2010 and the Dallas football team was on probation for the final four years under the coach after a fight at one game and an incident where players were accused of urinating on the tennis courts at Tunkhannock at halftime of another.

After leaving Dallas, Jackson served as a linebacker coach at Misericordia University in the 2012 season and worked with defensive linemen at the college the following spring. He has been an assistant coach the two seasons working with the defense at Wyoming Valley West, where his son, Ted Jr., is the offensive coordinator under head coach Pat Keating.

Jackson has been on the coaching staff of the Spartans against the Mountaineers the past two seasons and agrees with those who say the program needs a change.

“From what I’ve seen and what I’ve observed as a coach, I think the program needs a lot of work to fix,” Jackson said. “The way things have changed since I left, I think it would take a lot of work for anyone to fix.”

Jackson said the job was being posted Thursday, and although he still needed to read the job description for verification, he planned to apply.

“I’ve been getting calls from people asking what I’m going to do,” Jackson said. “A lot of people have said they’ll support me.”

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