Payton Jackson hopes to bring consistency to Quanah's coaching ranks

·3 min read

January has been a whirlwind for Payton Jackson.

Two weeks ago, Jackson and his wife, Amber, welcomed baby boy, Legend, into their family, joining 8-year-old twin daughters Annie and Abigail. Meanwhile, Jackson was still leading the Quanah boys basketball team.

And he was in pursuit of a new job – one he believed would benefit his own and other families in Quanah.

Quanah ISD announced via social media that Jackson had been named the new head football coach and athletic director. He is replacing Jason Cole, who was reassigned in December shortly after his second season leading the Indians.

Jackson didn’t originally intend to pursue this position when it first came open.

“Up until recently, I didn’t have any want to. I was happy being a coordinator and head basketball coach,” Jackson said. “It’s the fear of inconsistency that led me to this decision. I’ve been under two ADs in the four years I’ve been at Quanah.”

The inconsistency of leadership at Quanah ISD has been well noted. Jackson becomes the fourth head football coach and athletic director hired by the school district since 2015 when David Fambrough was tabbed to replace Jason Sims.

Fambrough was there for three seasons and replaced by Matt Garvin. Garvin was abruptly reassigned from his post in 2019, leading to the hiring of Cole.

Jackson, who is a 2005 Quanah grad, was the defensive coordinator under Garvin and Cole. The Indians have made the playoffs in all four of those seasons, including a district championship in Cole’s first season in 2020.

Before coming to Quanah, Jackson spent eight years at Iowa Park, including the last four as the head boys basketball coach.

Quanah head basketball coach Payton Jackson in the game against Windthorst Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Windthorst.
Quanah head basketball coach Payton Jackson in the game against Windthorst Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Windthorst.

“Giving up basketball, that wasn’t on my list of things I wanted to do, but I got some guys who can carry on what we’ve been doing there,” Jackson said. “I think the inconsistency can be summed up in something a lot of people don’t look at.

“Look at the amount of logos we have. We have four or five. When a new guy comes in, the logo changes. If something as trivial as a logo changed, how much did expectations and philosophies change? We have seniors who I’ll be their third head coach since they’ve been in high school.”

Jackson points out that during his time playing at Quanah, he had the same AD/football coach, basketball coach and baseball coach for all four years.

“I think I had six coaches total across all sports,” Jackson said. “There have been 10 different administrators at Quanah since I’ve come back here.

“One of our kids summed it up. He said, ‘By the time I adjust to a coach, he’s gone.’ That’s tough to here. Once I heard that, I sat down with my wife, and we decided I would go for this position.”

Jackson hopes to stop the trend of quick exits by coaches, but also praises the coaches he’s worked under the past four seasons.

“I don’t want to take anything away from Matt Garvin and Jason Cole. There are things I learned from both guys that I’ll be taking with me in this job,” said Jackson, who will finish this season as the head boys basketball coach. “I’ve done my research here. I know what I’m getting into and how hard it is to coach in Quanah.

“When I came here from Iowa Park, the guys on the basketball team looked at me as another coach who would just be gone in a couple years. I told the freshmen on that team that I would see them graduate, and I did.

“I hope I can be the one to break this trend.”

This article originally appeared on Wichita Falls Times Record News: Quanah names Payton Jackson athletic director/head football coach

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