No stranger to the Liberty baseball program, having served as the Flames' pitching coach in 2008, Scott Jackson was named its seventh head coach in June of 2016.
In his first three seasons at the helm, Liberty has been among the nation's top 50 teams in on base percentage and walks at the end of each season. In addition, Liberty has lead its conference in runs scored and on base percentage each year.
The Flames have also made their mark in the classroom, posting cumulative team GPAs of 3.0 or better in each of Jackson's seasons at the helm. The 2017 team posted a 3.03 team GPA and had 17 players with a 3.0 or better. The 2018 squad boasted 19 players with a 3.0 or better and a team GPA of 3.11, while this past year, the Flames posted a 3.06 GPA and featured 21 players with a 3.0 or better.
This past season, Liberty became the first team since 1993 to capture the ASUN title in its first season in the conference and advanced to an NCAA Regional for the first time since 2014. The Flames tied the program record for wins, posting a 43-21 mark, while setting new single season records for strikeouts (557) and saves (19). Liberty also finished second in the ASUN regular season standings with a 15-9 mark.
Liberty pitchers led the ASUN and ranked 20th nationally with a 3.63 ERA, while leading the conference in wins, innings pitched, saves and opponent batting average. The Flames also led the conference in fielding percentage.
Right-hander Evan Brabrand flourished in his closer role in 2019, earning All-American honors from Collegiate Baseball, Perfect Game and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Among the national leaders in saves throughout the year, Brabrand finished 2019 as the ASUN leader and second all-time in program history with 13 saves. In addition, the ACBA All-Region and ASUN All-Conference team member recorded a 4-3 mark with a stellar 1.56 ERA in 25 appearances.
Meanwhile, catcher Jonathan Embry was named the 2019 ASUN Player of the Year, voted ASUN Tournament MVP and selected to the conference's all-conference team. The redshirt junior hit .312 and paced the ASUN with 56 runs scored and 59 walks.
Joining Brabrand and Embry on the ASUN All-Conference team were sophomore second baseman Will Wagner and junior right-hander Andrew McInvale. In addition, McInvale also was named to the ACBA All-Region team and lead the ASUN in wins with 10.
In June, Brabrand, Embry and McInvale were each selected during the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft. Jackson also was named the Virginia Coach of the Year by the Virginia Sports Information Directors.
Despite losing three experienced pitchers to injury early in 2018, Jackson was able to guide Liberty to a 32-26 overall mark and finished third in its final year in the Big South Conference with a 17-10 record. After dropping their first game at the 2018 Big South Championship, the Flames won three straight elimination games to force a winner take all game with eventual champion Campbell to move on to the title contest.
Jackson's Flames set new single season program records for bases on balls (356), fewest errors (48) and fielding percentage (.977). In addition to runs scored and on base percentage, Liberty also led the Big South in RBI, doubles, triples and walks.
Following the season, Artis and catcher/outfielder Tre Todd were named to the all-conference first team, while third baseman Tyler Galazin and pitcher Garret Price received all-conference honorable mention. Artis and Todd, along with pitchers Jack DeGroat and Jackson Bertsch went on to be selected in the 2018 MLB Draft. Artis became the highest Liberty draft pick since 2012, when he was taken in the seventh round by the Chicago Cubs.
In 2017, Jackson led the Flames to a 33-23 record and a second place finish in the Big South regular season standings with a 16-8 mark in his first season in charge of the program.
Following the season, Jackson saw outfielder D.J. Artis named the 2017 Big South Player of the Year and earn selection to three different All-American teams: Baseball America, National Collegiate Baseball Writers and D1Baseball.com. In addition, he saw pitcher Caleb Evans drafted by the Oakland A's in the MLB Draft.
Artis led the nation in walks and finished second in on base percentage, while on the mound, the Liberty pitching staff allowed the fewest runs in the conference.
During his one season with the Flames in 2008 as their pitching coach, Jackson helped Liberty post a 35-26-1 record and a 14-7 mark in Big South play. Liberty was the No. 2 seed at the 2008 Big South Baseball Championship and advanced to the event's title game.
Following the 2008 season, two of Jackson's pupils were selected in the Major League Baseball Draft. Left-hander Ryan Page was selected in the 20th round by the Toronto Blue Jays and right-hander David Stokes was taken by the Detroit Tigers in the 28th round.
In 2008, Jackson became an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of North Carolina, where he spent eight seasons (2009-16). Jackson worked with the Tar Heels offense, as well as hitting, base running and infield play.
During his eight seasons in Chapel Hill, N.C., Jackson helped North Carolina post a 345-156 record, make three College World Series appearances (2009, 2011 and 2013), advance to six-straight NCAA Regionals (2009-14) and win the 2013 ACC Championship.
Prior to the 2013 season, Jackson was recognized by Baseball America as one of the top assistant coaches in the country. His efforts in building the Tar Heel roster and player development helped produce the most successful season in UNC Baseball history. The Tar Heels advanced to the College World Series and were one of the final three teams remaining in Omaha. The 2013 squad finished 59-12 overall and 21-7 in ACC play, while recording Carolina's third ACC Championship. However, perhaps the biggest feat by the 2013 Tar Heels was that they never lost back-to-back games at any time during the season.
During the Tar Heels' run to the 2011 College World Series, North Carolina had one of its top scoring seasons in school history. The Tar Heels finished the year ranked No. 10 in the country with 452 runs scored. Jackson's batters proved to be patient hitters, finishing the year ranked No. 2 in the country in walks (358).
North Carolina had continued success at the plate during the 2012 season, finishing the year ranked No. 4 in the nation in walks (304). The following season, the Tar Heels led the country in hits (759), runs (542) and walks (369).
After joining the coaching staff at North Carolina in July 2008, Jackson helped the Tar Heels have 44 players selected in the Major League Baseball Draft including coaching and/or recruiting eight first round picks, seven top 5 round picks, and 10 top 10 round picks.
North Carolina's top offensive selection in 2016 was outfielder Tyler Ramirez, who was a seventh-round selection by the Oakland Athletics. He finished the 2016 season hitting .333, with 11 doubles, eight home runs, 47 RBI and a .540 slugging percentage.
Jackson worked with freshman All-America second baseman Levi Michael who was the 30th overall selection in the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft by the Minnesota Twins.
Third baseman Colin Moran came to North Carolina as an unheralded recruit but developed into one of the top hitters in the country as he earned All-America honors and was named the Baseball America Freshman of the Year in 2011. As a junior, Moran was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, led the nation with 91 RBIs and was the No. 6 overall pick of the Miami Marlins in the 2013 MLB Draft.
Jackson helped coach three-time All-American Dustin Ackley to Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year honors and also mentored all-conference selection Kyle Seager. Both Ackley and Seager were selected in the top three rounds of the 2009 MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners, and Seager was both an AL All-Star and UNC's first Gold Glove winner in 2014.
Jackson's efforts on the recruiting trail paid off for the Tar Heels, as the program consistently signed classes that ranked among the nation's best. The 2010 group of newcomers ranked No. 7 nationally, the 2011 class was ranked No. 6, the 2012 crop was ranked No. 4, the 2013 edition was ranked No. 5, the incoming class of 2014 was ranked No. 1 and the 2015 edition was ranked No. 5.
Prior to his single season at Liberty, Jackson served five seasons on staff at UNC Wilmington as pitching coach (2003-07). The Seahawks posted a three-consecutive seasons and captured the Colonial Athletic Association titles in 2004 and 2006. Having never been to a regional in school history, UNC Wilmington also advanced to NCAA Regional play in 2003 (Baton Rouge), 2004 (Kinston) and 2006 (Chapel Hill).
Under Jackson's tutelage, six Seahawk pitchers were selected in the MLB Draft after going undrafted out of high school including Brad Holt who was a 1st Rd. pick in 2008 (33rd overall) by the New York Mets. His pitching staffs established a number of school records at Wilmington, including strikeouts and saves.
Jackson also had coaching stints at Campbell (2002), Barton (2001) and Wofford (2000). In addition to his collegiate work, Jackson also spent two seasons with the Wilmington Sharks, where he was an assistant in 2000 and Head Coach in 2002. He led the Sharks to a league-best 31-17 mark in 2002 as head coach and coached five MLB draft picks.
Jackson is a 1998 graduate of Campbell with a bachelor's degree in physical education and he earned a master's degree in education in 2000, also from Campbell. During his playing days with the Camels, he played seven different positions and posted a career .268 batting average in 182 games.
A native of Charlotte, N.C., Jackson is married to the former Sara Moore, who was a standout basketball player at Campbell. The couple has two sons, Ryan (13) and Tyler (10).