Mississippi State women’s basketball head coach Vic Schaefer announced Monday that Dionnah Jackson-Durrett has been promoted to associate head coach.
“Dionnah has been instrumental in the success of our program,” said Schaefer. “Each year, she’s continued taking on more responsibilities, and her promotion to Associate Head Coach alongside Johnnie Harris is well deserved and earned. We are so blessed to have the staff that we have here at Mississippi State. Our team has gone to unprecedented heights the past few years, and part of that is a credit to Dionnah for her ability to develop point guards along with her involvement in recruiting. I’m very proud of her, and I’m excited to see what her future has in store.”
One of the top rising stars in the coaching ranks, Jackson-Durrett’s presence in Starkville has been felt since she arrived in 2015. Working with the point guards, Mississippi State recorded its top three assists marks for a single season each of the last three years under her guidance, including the program record of 602 during the 2017-18 campaign.
“I am honored to get a promotion like this,” said Jackson-Durrett. “It means everything to me. Being a part of this program has helped me grow in such a way in my profession that I never would have thought possible. Getting this promotion means that my growth is evident not just to me but also Coach Schaefer. I’m so grateful to have more responsibilities, get a new title and just be in this program. Our whole staff has helped me grow in so many ways and has taught me so much. I don’t get this promotion without the staff that we have from the top to the bottom. I have learned from every single person that has been on our staff. I’m so thankful for Coach Schaefer promoting me to this position, but I don’t get it without the team effort and push that happens daily with this staff.”
Under Jackson-Durrett’s watch, the Bulldogs have ranked inside the top 25 nationally and led the SEC in assists (3x), assists per game (1x) and assist/turnover ratio (2x) a combined six times. During the 2018-19 season, Mississippi State ranked amongst the nation’s best in all three categories, finishing 12th in assists, 15th in assist/turnover ratio and 24th in assists per game, while pacing the SEC in all three categories.
The St. Louis, Missouri, native coached and mentored arguably the two best point guards ever to play for the Bulldogs in Jazzmun Holmes and Morgan William. Both received All-American Honorable Mention recognition from the Associated Press.
“This success begins with Coach Schaefer, because he allows me to coach,” said Jackson-Durrett. “He lets me help players navigate being a point guard. We have been so successful recently because we’ve taken care of the ball, and our players are accountable when they don’t take care of the ball. The biggest thing when developing a point guard’s mind is making them accountable and owning their decisions. Morgan and Jazzmun were really good at that. Their styles were different, but their ability to be accountable was the same. Being able to embrace the accountable piece allowed them to be more creative and grow in areas needed.”
Holmes broke the single-season record for assists with 202 in 2018-19, topping the previous record of 181 held by William. This past season, she was the NCAA Division I leader for assist/turnover ratio after posting an incredible 4.81 mark. She finished second on State’s career assists list with 476 and is the only player in program history to record multiple games with at least 12 assists.
William, known for her game-winning shot against No. 1 UConn to send the Bulldogs to their first national championship appearance in 2016-17, holds the Mississippi State records for career assists with 656 and career assists per game average at 4.4. She is responsible for three of the top five single-season assist totals in program history. The All-SEC selection became just the second player to ever lead State in assists for four seasons.
With back-to-back Top-15 signing classes, Mississippi State has been recruiting at a high level the last few seasons, and Jackson-Durrett has played a role in that success. This past year, the Bulldogs landed the top signing class in program history, inking the No. 6 group in the nation by ESPN. Rickea Jackson, the fifth-ranked player in the country and State’s first McDonald’s All-American signee, highlighted the group.
Story by Josh Lively, Assistant Director/Communications (https://hailstate.com/news/2019/7/29/womens-basketball-schaefer-announces-promotion-of-jackson-durrett-to-associate-head-coach.aspx)
Photo Courtesy MSU AthleticsTagged with: SEC