Columbia football coach Demetric Jackson steps down after state semifinal season

Jackson spent 2 playoff seasons at his alma mater

Demetric Jackson stepped down at Columbia after two seasons. (Justin Barney, News4JAX)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The high school football offseason coaching carousel continues to spin, this time opening up a position at Columbia High School.

Demetric Jackson resigned on Thursday after two seasons leading his alma mater. He led Columbia to back-to-back district championships and helped guide the Tigers to the Class 3S state semifinals last season. The Lake City Reporter was the first to report Jackson’s departure.

Jackson had seasons of 6-5 and then 9-4 with Columbia. He said the constant demands of the job, including the final 21 seasons spent coaching at both Fort White and Columbia (16 combined as the head coach) were simply tiring.

High school football coaching changes

SchoolFormer coachNew coach
Atlantic CoastMike MontemayorStep Durham
Bartram TrailDarrell SutherlandCory Johns
Christ’s ChurchKoreen BurchVacant
ColumbiaDemetric JacksonVacant
Fleming IslandDamenyum SpringsChad Parker
JacksonChristopher FoyVacant
Keystone HeightsChuck DickinsonSteve Reynolds
MenendezMatt PotakBen White
OakleafMarcus Miller (interim)Christopher Foy
West NassauRickey ArmstrongVacant
WolfsonStep DurhamVacant

“I’m kind of exhausted. Just the timing of it right now, it’s time to move on,” Jackson said. “My oldest two [children] already graduated [college] and my son is a sophomore [in high school].”

Jackson was a big name in Columbia County, first as a player, then as the mayor of Fort White, a position which he held simultaneously while serving as the head coach of the Indians. He was 90-61 as a head coach at Fort White and constantly had the Indians playing in or pushing for the state playoffs.

Jackson played at Columbia in high school, a Super 11 quarterback who changed positions and went on to play cornerback at Florida for coach Steve Spurrier. Jackson had four career interceptions and won a national championship as a senior in 1996.

Jackson replaced another former Tigers star in Brian Allen at Columbia. Allen stepped down from his alma mater following the 2020 season.

“I think so,” Jackson when asked if this was a permanent step away from coaching. “I may leave a small crack in the door. I won’t say never. If the right opportunity came up, I’d consider it. But at this point now, it’s just the right time.”

Area schools have filled their open positions quickly over the past month. This week, three area schools, Atlantic Coast, Keystone Heights and Menendez all announced coaching hires. The Stingrays hired alum Step Durham, Keystone promote Steve Reynolds and Menendez hired Ben White.

Fleming Island hired Bartram Trail assistant Chad Parker in late December. Bartram Trail replaced longtime coach Darrell Sutherland with Nature Coast Tech’s Cory Johns.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.