For Stanley Jackson, football is about family.
A Big Ten champion and Rose Bowl winner, Jackson accomplished much as a quarterback over four years at Ohio State. He also spent those years meeting and developing relationships with several other Buckeyes, such as Winfield Garnett, Reggie Germany, Ashanti Webb and Paris Long.
Now the head coach of Westerville North – a high school located 25 minutes northeast of Ohio State's campus and downtown Columbus – Jackson called on those Buckeyes to fill his staff for the Warriors football program, with Garnett, Germany and Webb as assistants and Long as a strength coach and physical trainer. He also added Chris "Beanie" Wells to the group and round out the bunch.
"Part of my job was not just coming along," Jackson told ABC6 in Columbus. "It was to build a unique coaching staff that could speak to many different things around the game of football. Most lessons that I use now in life, I learned from football. The lessons you learn between the white lines translate to life."
Jackson immediately assembled his staff with those ideas in mind. He knew Garnett, Germany, Webb and Long were the correct people for the task, both because of the football knowledge they had obtained over the years and how they had carried themselves as people in that time.
Garnett (1994-97) was a defensive tackle for the Buckeyes and played professionally in the NFL, NFL Europe and Arena Football League. He also has experience as a defensive line coach at Ohio Dominican from 2010-15. Germany (1997-2000) was a wide receiver at Ohio State and played one professional season with the Buffalo Bills, while Webb (1997-98) was a defensive back and Long (1996-99) was an offensive lineman and defensive tackle for the Buckeyes.
In addition to his five teammates, Jackson announced that Wells would also be a part of the Warriors' staff. Wells (2006-08) was a first-team All-Big Ten running back at Ohio State, collecting 3,382 yards and 30 touchdowns on 585 carries during his three seasons in Columbus. He later became a first-round draft pick in the NFL draft to the Arizona Cardinals, where he would play the next four years from 2009-12.
“I’ve been building towards this,” Jackson told The Columbus Dispatch in February. “We’ve been coaching for five, six years at the youth level, all former Buckeyes, and we’ve been talking about this opportunity. We have the kids, and they go on, and you see them at the high school level and you think maybe this is the time to take the next step. The opportunity presented itself.”
Beyond coaching at the youth level or years, Jackson has another motive for coaching the Westerville North football program: Jackson's three boys all have been or will be Warriors.
Jackson's oldest son, Stanley Jr., was a running back and linebacker and will graduate this spring. His middle son, Ronald, was North's starting quarterback last season as a sophomore, and his youngest son, Tre, is a seventh-grader at Heritage Middle School. At 5-foot-11 and 220 pounds, Tre is expected to contribute immediately to the Warriors when he arrives in 2024.
Too long! Were good! pic.twitter.com/SjESNBiLVn— Stanley jackson (@Jacksonville8) December 27, 2022
“I believe the program is heading in the right direction, and it’s our job to take that next step,” Jackson said. “Obviously, you’d like to see more wins than losses the last couple of years. When you watch the kids play, the team was, for the most part, very competitive. Coach Johnson did a heck of a job in taking this team to the next level, and now it’s my job to finish it.”