May 6, 2005

Former Irish hockey standout, Ben Simon, a 2000 Notre Dame grad, currently playing for the Chicago Wolves in the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup playoffs played for Jackson on the 1997 U.S. Junior National Team:

“Coach Jackson demands a lot from his players. He will get the most out of you. He’s a very honest guy who will be a good fit at Notre Dame. When I made my decision to go to Notre Dame, I had narrowed my choices to Notre Dame, Harvard and Lake State. The main reason I wanted to go to Lake State was because of Coach Jackson. I think it speaks volumes about his character because he was honest with me and fully supported my decision to go to Notre Dame because it was the best combination of academics and athletics for me. When he picked me for the junior national team, he could’ve picked a lot more talented players over me, but he had a vision and a plan. He said, ‘Here’s the role I want you to play, do you accept that.’ We won the silver medal. He took a third or fourth line guy and made me better. He’ll make you work real hard, but when you see the success, you enjoy it.”

Brett Lebda, a 2004 graduate and a member of Notre Dame’s first NCAA tournament team came to the Irish from the National program where Jeff Jackson was his coach in 1999-2000:

“Coach Jackson knows more about the game of hockey than any other coach that I’ve ever played for. His knowledge of the game is second to none. He knows what it takes to win at the collegiate level. He’s definitely a great teacher and knows what each player needs to do to get better. Hockey is his life. This is a great step for the program at Notre Dame.”

Rob Globke, a 2004 graduate who is the highest Irish player ever selected in the NHL draft (40th overall by Florida in 2002. He was also a member of the Under-18 team in 1999-2000 with Jackson as his coach:

“He’s an unbelievable coach. He’s one of the top coaches that I’ve played for. He’s a great teacher who knows so much about the game. As a player, you can learn so much about the game from him. Coach Jackson sees all the little things that make you become a better player. For me, I was always good with the puck. But he pointed out, that you only have the puck a few seconds in the game, and worked to teach me how to play without the puck. He explains things to you in a way that is easy to understand. He’s been successful everywhere he’s been. He’ll be a great fit at Notre Dame.”

Ian McCaw, Athletics Director at Baylor (former Athletics Director at Massachusetts and Northeastern and member of the NCAA Hockey Hockey Committee):

“Jeff Jackson is a great coach with lots of experience. He’s won two national championships at Lake Superior State. He’s a great recruiter and a well-respected hockey mind. He’ll represent Notre Dame well.”

Scott Monaghan, Director of Operations USA Hockey National Team Development Program:

“Jeff Jackson is undoubtedly the best coach and more importantly the best person that I have ever worked with. He goes out of his way to get involved with his players in all aspects of their lives. It’s not all about winning hockey games. He focuses on the entire picture and works for balance. If things are going well off the ice, then they usually go well on the ice. As a coach he is detail oriented and very disciplined. He is excellent in preparing for an opponent, but he also makes his opponent prepare for his teams. He is one of the most respected people in the coaching profession on the college, pro and international levels, all the way down to the junior and youth hockey levels. He’s a great fit for Notre Dame.”

Paul Pooley, head coach at Providence College, former assistant at Lake Superior from 1992-94:

“Jeff will be an awesome fit for Notre Dame. He understands the game and is such a student of the game. He’s got the total team concept and develops players around the team concept. His teaching ability is what separates him from other coaches. It’s a great situation for him and for Notre Dame.”

Greg Cronin, a Team USA colleague and former coach of the New York Islanders’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport, Conn., who recently became the head coach at Northeastern University:

“Jeff is one of the best teachers in the game.” – from the New York Islanders website.