Trainer enjoys new home, makes smooth transition

Like many athletic trainers, Jackson focuses on helping others

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

It is not often that an institution quickly finds a replacement to fill the shoes of someone regarded as an essential part of departmental success.

When former athletic trainer Brian Powelson left the CCC athletic department earlier this month, his only hope was that someone would come in and do as good of a job, or better, than he did — and just do right by the students.

After an exhaustive search over a short list of candidates put forth by Athletic Director John Wade, Mikal Jackson has been hired as the new athletic trainer for the Comets.

“The list of qualified prospects was short,” Wade said. “We needed someone with knowledge of the local doctors and services and Jackson’s work history fit the criteria.”

Experienced and qualified, Jackson is in his element when around athletes of all sports. Since his initial start date of Jan. 2, Jackson has smoothly transitioned into his position as trainer. From sprained ankles to pitcher’s elbow, the trainer has implemented rehab regimens using various types of physical therapy equipment, thereby adding his personal touch to the training experience.

Jackson, a Bay Area native, attended Amador Valley High School. He went on to graduate from San Jose State with a degree in kinesiology and athletic training.

An athlete in high school, the young student chose a career path in business and soon realized he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life locked inside of a cubicle.

It was under suggestion of a counselor that Jackson chose to pursue a career in a field that he loved — sports. The trainer has compiled an extensive resumé, building on his experience from each step he has climbed up the ladder.

From interning for the Stanford University Cardinal after college, to teaching sports medicine at California High School in San Ramon, Jackson made stops along the way as athletic trainer at Children’s Hospital and at Salesian High School in Richmond.

“He was an integral part of our staff for five years. He was great with the coaches and kids. Jackson knew his craft and applied it effectively,” Salesian High School Athletic Director Chad Nightingale said. “Watching him move on to another opportunity (that I referred him to) was like cutting off my nose to spite my face.”

Jackson’s healing hands have reached extensively across the Bay Area. The trainer recognizes players throughout the Bay Valley Conference, he even already knew some of the Comet players by name.

“He came with good credentials. He has a good demeanor and he knows our student population,” Wade said.

Like Powelson before him, Jackson’s focus is toward the betterment of the students.

“It’s never about how good of an athlete you are, some of the best athletes are not good people and some of the worst athletes are the best people, it’s about the person you become. You are setting an example. It’s about more than just taping ankles.”

Jackson, like most in the healing profession, sets his focus on helping others.

“To be successful in this field you have to care,” Jackson said. “It’s not a 9 to 5 job. You have to be there for the athletes and try to be a part of their success on and off of the field. It’s the same as teaching. You try to pass to this generation all of the things you learned along the way.”