Brent Eckley takes new coaching job, reflects on time at Jackson

JACKSON, Mo. (KBSI) – As Brent Eckley responded to hundreds of texts wishing him well upon his retirement from teaching and accepting a head coaching job at Har-Ber High School in Arkansas, he could not help but look back fondly on his 11 years at Jackson. 

“This is the best place to be a football coach in the state of Missouri, and it’s that way because we have good kids,” he said. “We have good kids because they are a reflection of their parents. We have good parents. We have a strong administration. We have a good community that supports it.” 

Eckley said the fact that one day he will have to clear everything out of his office, an office that wasn’t even an office before he arrived, hasn’t really set in yet. 

“This is my office,” he said. “It’s not the head football coach’s office, this is my office because it’s never been anybody else’s office but mine, and it’s going to be difficult to walk out of here at the end and know I’m not coming back in.” 

Athletic Director John Martin said Eckley has had an immeasurable influence on the Jackson football program. 

“He’s a one of a kind,” he said. “He is dedicated to football. He’s built our program up to where it is today, and he’s been great to work with.” 

So as Eckley sits in his office the final handful of times, an office where he has spent countless hours watching film, game-planning, etc., one chapter of his life is coming to an end, but another is just beginning. 

“The last couple days have been rough, and it will continue to be that way this spring, but you can’t spend your time looking back,” he said. “There are opportunities forward, and excited about new challenges, but like I said, this place will always be special.”

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