HELENA — On August 4, Carroll College athletics announced that softball coach Aaron Jackson would be stepping down from his position as the head coach after seven years at the helm. Jackson, one of the instrumental people in shaping the Fighting Saints softball team, noted it was a tough decision to step away from the program.
"A lot of thought went through the process on to step away from something that we built from the ground up," said Jackson. "Leaving a special place and a special team that is supposed to do some great things, so definitely a difficult decision. But in the end, was the decision that was best for my future."
Jackson said one of the bright spots of his tenure at Carroll College was actually something that hit close to home as a Helena native, and will surely be missed when he moves on.
"Helena is home for me. So that's going to be probably the thing I miss the most, is just being able to share the daily atmosphere with my family. They're at games, they're are a part of our program. And so that will be a big adjustment in the next step," said Jackson. "Now they'll be a phone call away, instead of a 'See ya after the game.' That will probably be the thing that I'll miss most."
During his tenure, 62 players have been a part of the Fighting Saints softball squad and while Jackson said he'll have some good gameday memories, the best ones were created off of the field.
"The memories that stick out the most are the times on the field or conversations with student-athletes, road trips, and things that we did. Going to the beach when we go to Southern California or going to Pikes Place Market in Seattle, you know? Those are the memories that really stick out and, and the impact that you have on a student-athlete's life," said Jackson. "I've been blown away by the texts and phone calls I've received since we announced and, and the impact on those student-athletes is far more reaching than I ever could imagine."
As Jackson parts ways with Carroll, he said a lot of people are to thank for bringing the program to fruition.
"I just like to thank the people that made this happen from the late Bruce Parker to Steve Jones and Candie Cain and Kerry Petersen. Most of all, those players that took a chance on us from the start," said Jackson. "You come into something and nothings there. It was a vision and those student-athletes took a chance on Carroll and I think that has benefited both Carroll and them in their life and I couldn't thank them more for taking the chance on Carroll."