Greene County News
INDIANAPOLIS — Kirven (K.O.) Jackson, head coach of the K-Town (Kokomo) Elite Track Club, is one of 25 coaches selected internationally to participate in the 2016 IAAF/USATF Academy for Jumps/Youth Specialization Dec. 4-10, at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
In addition, Jackson was also one of three coaches awarded a $1,585 grant from the USATF Coaches Advisory Committee to cover tuition and room-and-board at the six-day, intensive-classroom-and-laboratory-setting Academy.
Jackson is a Miami University graduate and was a member of its track and football teams in the mid-1980s. He was also a member of Dayton Christian High School’s first state track team championship in 1982.
In the late ’80s and early ’90s, he was the head boys track and field coach at Xenia High School where he coached recent XHS Hall of Fame member Shawn Thigpen, and in the ’90s he was the head girls track and field coach at Cincinnati’s Mount Notre Dame High School. His MND team was the second Cincinnati girls high school to win the Edwin Moses Relays.
He was a member of the Northwest Track Club coached by Harold “Lefty” Martin.
Jackson was also an award-winning journalist for the Xenia Daily Gazette, public-relations officer for Wilberforce University, and a writer/filmmaker/broadcaster for Central State University’s WCSU.
The IMG Academy has helped professional athletes reach their peak potential for nearly 40 years and more than 200 Olympicians trained there this year in preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
According to Terry Crawford, Director of Coaching for the Indianapolis-based USATF, selection criteria for the Academy included coaches coaching athletes at international, national and state-level championship track and field meets, and Jackson has accomplished all of this in his career.
Jackson is a USATF Level 2 coach in the sprints, jumps and hurdles and a USATF Level I instructor. In Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, Jackson has coached numerous state-meet participants; three state champions; a three-time USA Junior Olympic national champion; two Olympic Trial aspirants, a three-time head coach for the International Sports Tours, and 58 of his athletes have received NCAA Division I/NAIA scholarships.
Upon completion of the USATF/IAAF Academy, Crawford said coaches will receive an IAAF Level V diploma and USATF Level 3 certification. She added the IAAF Academy Diploma for Elite Coach is the highest recognized achievement awarded through the IAAF Coaches Education and Certification System (CECS). It is recognized around the world and indicates that a coach is not only highly experienced, but has the knowledge to coach or instruct at the highest international levels of the track and field profession. Further, the USATF Level 3 certification is the highest coaching honor in the U.S., said Crawford.
This, however, isn’t Jackson most recent endeavor with elite international track and field coaches. In October, Jackson was a participant in the international World Speed Summit 2 webinar.
“I am very humbled and honored to be selected to the Academy. But this is not just a huge blessing and honor to me; it’s also for all my parents, athletic directors, coaches and outstanding student-athletes I have had the privilege to coach in my career,” said Jackson. “Some of what I learned at the Summit, we introduced this fall in our fall training this year. The plan is to do the same with what I learn at the Academy as we begin our indoor season in January.
“I always challenge my athletes to improve. The Summit and the Academy are my ways to improve as a coach. Our Club has an athlete who wants to compete in the Olympics. We have Master and youth athletes who want to reach personal and national goals. As their coach, it’s my job, my duty, my responsibility to make sure I am prepared to lead them to their goal and beyond with the best-and-latest coaching knowledge available.”