Bailey Jackson said last year when he returned home to Clover to be an academic/administrative assistant that he still had the desire to coach.
“I don't know that I am through coaching,’’ he said at the time. “This opportunity was available and the timing is good.”
Jackson, who built Fort Mill into a Class AAAA power, was named today as Clover’s new coach, replacing long-time Blue Eagles coach Dudley Lybrand, who decided it was time to step aside.
Lybrand will serve as assistant athletic director and will be a liaison between the high school and the district’s two middle school athletics programs.
Jackson, a former 3-point shooter for the Blue Eagles, revived Class A Buford and Class AA Chesnee before coming to Fort Mill 2003. He added the role of athletic director in 2006.
In eight seasons at Fort Mill, Jackson went 128-76 and was just four wins away from 200 career wins when the Yellow Jackets’ season ended. Jacksonguided the 2007 Yellow Jackets to a Class AAAA state championship, Fort Mill's first in boys basketball since 1974.
Jackson, his wife Jaye and their children Caty and Wit, live four miles from Clover High School. Jackson's parents live in the Clover area.
This past season Jackson was an assistant coach for the Clover girls’ varsity team that went 21-5, including 10-0 in Region 3-AAAA.
“This is where I’ve wanted to be since I first started coaching,” Jackson said. “It’s special to be taking over for someone I respect and trying to build on what has been created by coach Lybrand. It’s a win-win situation for the program and the school and I’m looking forward to getting the ball rolling.”
Jackson’s roots run deep in Clover. He is from the town and is a 1991 graduate of Clover High. His parents worked in the district; his father, Ed, in the maintenance department for 20-plus years and his mom, Susan, as a middle school teacher for 30 years.
His wife completed her tenth year as a teacher in Clover this year. Jackson holds degrees from Clemson University, the United States Sports Academy, and Grand Canyon University.
After being involved with the basketball program for 19 years, Lybrand sees the move as a chance to spend more time with his family, yet still be involved with all athletics teams at the high school. He will continue teaching math at Clover High.
In 12 years as Clover’s head coach his teams captured region championships in 2005 and 2006. Lybrand was also named region coach of the year those years.
Lybrand career record is 203-165 over 14 seasons, including two years at Gilbert. At both schools he has also coached baseball, football, golf, and track. He came to Clover in 1993 as an assistant football coach under Marty Woolbright.
“This is not an easy decision to walk away, but I look forward to being able to better balance time with my young family and watch my two kids play basketball,” he said. “I will maintain a strong interest in the program and look forward to my expanded role within the athletics department at Clover High.”