MIAMI — The coaching transition will be an easy one for new Northeastern A&M men’s basketball coach Jeremy Jackson and assistant Bruce Chavka.
Jackson played point guard for Chavka as a sophomore at Napa Valley Community College.
“Sometimes you go to work for somebody that you don’t know too well. This will make the transition earlier,” Chavka said. “We’ve known each other for a long time and have a lot of the same ideas.
“That’s nice because when you move to a job where you don’t know the person you are working for, you are walking on egg shells the first month or two. I feel we can just jump right in.”
Jackson succeeds Dustin Grover, who moved into administration at NEO.
Jackson assisted Grover for eight seasons.
During that stretch, the Norsemen reached the Region 2 finals four times and won the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference twice.
In their two appearances in the Men’s Division I National Junior College Athletic Association National Tournament, the Norse finished 17th in 2013-14 and 16th in 2015-16.
Jackson was a volunteer assistant at NEO from 2009-2011. He joined Grover’s staff full time in 2012.
“I couldn’t ask for a better hire, someone coming in that has had head coaching experience and we know each other,” Jackson said. “We have a good rapport with each other. He’s a guy that I trust. I think that is the big thing: trust.”
Chavka resigned in March after 12 seasons at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon, where he posted a 161-177 record.
The Titans qualified for the Northwest Athletic Conference playoffs four times.
Chavka, who has more than 20 years of teaching and coaching experience, will also be NEO student activities director.
“I learned a lot from him,” Jackson said. “We developed a relationship what with me being a point guard. We kept in touch through the years.”
Prior to coming to his move to Lane in 2005, he was head coach at Napa Valley (California) College for four seasons.
He also has been an assistant at Western State College, Iowa Wesleyan College and Lamar (Colorado) Community College.
“I love the national junior college level and I am excited to get back to that level,” Chavka said.
He was a graduate assistant at the University of Northern Colorado.
“We’ve known each other for quite a while,” Chavka said. “I am happy to help him out. He’s been a part of my basketball family. I am excited for him. That’s a great job for him to get and hopefully I can give some assistance to him and try to have a great experience.
“I will throw my 100 ideas at him and hopefully one or two are good.”
Chavka said Jackson had helped him recruit several players in the past.
“I couldn’t be more excited to have him come in,” Jackson said. “I still will be able to learn from him. He can come in and help us build us up to an even better platform that where we are now. We are really good now, but we want to continue to progress.”