(Editor's note: Carroll College media release)
HELENA--Carroll College head softball coach Aaron Jackson is leaving the program to pursue other opportunities.
"We appreciate all that Aaron has done for our softball program," athletic director Charlie Gross said. "He started our program from square one and has worked tirelessly to improve the student athlete experience each year. His commitment and passion for the sport of softball is unwavering."
Throughout his seven years as head coach, Jackson reached many significant milestones. The first milestone was starting the softball program as a whole.
"It has been an amazing journey to this point. To start a program from nothing to where we are today," Jackson said. "When I arrived, Carroll Softball was just a plan on paper and today it is a program that is on solid foundation. It has what it needs to be successful in the future. I am grateful for my time at Carroll and feel blessed that I was able to start the program in my home town."
Competing in the Cascade Collegiate Conference is no easy task. It is widely regarded as one of the best in the country, and has seen members finish in the top five at the NAIA World Series for the last decade plus. That did not stop Jackson and his young program from having success early on. In 2016, the Saints won the Cascade East Division title. That year marked the first of three appearances in the Cascade Conference Tournament for the Saints under Jackson.
In addition to the numerous all-conference and all-region selections the program had over the last seven years, the Carroll softball team has finished with a team GPA over 3.25 every season. Jaylin Kenney, class of 2018, also received CoSIDA Academic All-American honors.
While Jackson was the head coach, he also served as a member of the NAIA Softball Executive Committee and NAIA All-American Selection Committee as well as overseeing the renovation of the old weight room into batting cages and renovation of the locker room.
"A very special thanks to my assistant coaches Sarah Birnel, John Hawe, and Allison Bayer. Without them, this program would not have achieved all that we have. Their countless hours put into the program are priceless," Jackson continued. "A huge thanks to my family for all they did for this program. Providing countless meals, tailgates, help with the field, and can't forget Miss Darla's goody bags."
Carroll will begin a search for a new head coach immediately.