What Ever Happened To David Jackson??? He was the Man behind the Microphone(radio) thirteen years ago, when the Appalachian State Mountaineers went to “The Big House”, and knocked off the Michigan Wolverines…David Jackson, with us here at GreensboroSports.com and we get a chance to hear from the former Northeast Guilford Ram and Appalachian State Mountaineer…We thank a busy David Jackson for his time today….Check out our question and answer session below…..
1)What is David Jackson up to these days?
David Jackson:I am the President/CEO of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, a job I’ve held since leaving my role at App State four years ago. I live in Boone with my wife and two daughters, who are in 3rd and 8th grade now! I have done some play-by-play work with East Tennesseee State over the past few years on their ESPN3/+ broadcasts of football and men’s basketball. Mostly my work has been full-on COVID-response mode as our office is working to help the community with the health and economic realities of our current situation.
2)What are some of your fondest memories of the 34-32 win by APP over Michigan, 13 years ago?
David Jackson:A few things that come to mind in terms of fond memories…I remember finding Jay Sutton down by the busses after the game (former player who was our Associate AD for Football Operations at the time and actually scheduled the game) and giving him a big hug. Jay and I worked very closely together and advanced professionally together through the ranks. He worked hard to make that opportunity happen and it was awesome to see how excited (and relived) he was after the game, having worked with the team but also having been a former player. I remember that Brownie (Steve Brown) and I had great dialogue during the commercial breaks down the stretch. We were both nervous as all getout and were trying to keep the mood lite and our nerves calm. I remember our crew walking back across the the field after the game, on our way to the busses, and we stopped for a moment in the big M at midfield…no pictures…no talking really…just a moment for us to let it all sink in.
3)How were you able to hold former Appalachian State QB and football radio color commentator Steve Brown down, with all of that excitement?
David Jackson:I was not!! Our radio engineer, Tim Sparks, found his way to the audio slider and took Steve down a few octaves toward the end. I didn’t mind though…it was an iconic moment and one that was unexpected. We reacted like everyone else did that day. It was genuine…not built in a broadcast studio environment, and the genuine nature of our excitement made that moment what it is.
4)Key things you learned from your dad, Randy Jackson?
David Jackson:I learned a lot about how to be a broadcaster off the air from him. He helped me realize that you are never really “off,” and the way you interact with people will impact how they remember you. He would talk to people about the weather like they were old friends. I tried to do the same with App sports. We were all alums and fans and it was always fun to talk to people and hear their experiences. My dad also taught me that when the light turns red you have a job to do, and you better be prepared to be the best you can be in that job at that moment.
5)Some things you picked up by working with legendary APP coach Jerry Moore?
David Jackson:Coach Moore was a great man to work with and influenced many of us that worked with him in the department. When I think about Coach Moore I reflect on two of his main phrases, “Trust and Respect,” and “It’s about people.” Coach Moore built his program around trust and respect, and the seeds of that style have been seen in Coaches Satterfield and Clark. That remains the foundation of the success of the App State program. As far as people go, Coach Moore made time for everyone. When he signs autographs, you don’t get a squiggle…you get a novel. He sought the opportunity to connect with people as much as he could and went above and beyond in that regard. When we beat Michigan, he said, “No one says no this week. If its CBS or a newspaper in the middle of nowhere, we honor all requests.” That applied to all of us…coaches, players, staff, everyone. Coach wanted the world to know the App State story and for us to be gracious in sharing that. Many of us still respond the same way to requests about that game today.
6)Do you ever see yourself getting back into broadcasting?
DJ:I still broadcast games from time to time. I have been privileged to work as the play by play announcer at East Tennessee State for their ESPN3/+ productions of football and men’s basketball. The last game I called was that crazy comeback ETSU had against WCU last year in the regular-season finale. I think Steve Forbes will do great things at Wake Forest. His players played hard for him, every night, and they believe in his philosophy. That is a great place to start when you are rebuilding a program. As for me, I look at broadcasting as a hobby and not a lifestyle anymore. That lifestyle beats up the best of them, especially when paired with full-time responsibilities as well. I enjoy preparing for games and calling the action, and connecting a fan base passionately with something they care about. I have the opportunity to do that now and again, and it fits my family and work schedules, I’d love to stay involved.
7)Best part about an NEG/Northeast Guilford Ram, back in the day?
DJ:The best part of being a Northeast Ram was the coaches, and we had some great ones back in my day. I played baseball for Bobby Chappel and David Lawing. They taught the game the right way and we had some amazing talent. I played with Geoff Pitchford, Corey McDonald, Jason Michael, Taft Cable, Rodney Souther, Todd Smith, Aaron Rice, and many others that had the talent to play collegiately or professionally. Buddy Walker was my summer league coach and he taught us how to play with tenacity. John Key was my JV baseball coach and he was the classiest man I ever played for — lots of trust and respect — just like Coach Moore. I’d later work with his college Head Coach, Jim Morris, at App State. I saw so much of that foundation that Coach Key brought to us. Jim and I called the App State NCAA run in 2012…and every year Coach Key and Coach Lawing would come by to see us in the booth.
We had some other greats too at NE. Larry Coggins, Bill Bookout, Tommy Pursley, Gary Angel — all coaches you wanted to run through the wall for. Northeast teams did a good bit of winning back in the day…it it was because we were taught well.
I still follow them today. I’m so excited for Jaylin Davis and proud of everything he stands for. It is surreal to see guys like he and Mitch Atkins play at the highest level…to know we all drank from the same dirty water hose under that press box brings a common thread that ties us all. I got to call Jaylin’s first HR at App off Carlos Rodon..I can’t wait until they face off in the pros. I know Jaylin will take him deep again!!
8)Other than APP, your favorite college football team?
DJ:Other than App, I enjoy watching the Louisville Cardinals…for obvious reasons. I follow the teams App coaches are working with now. I’m a huge Murray State basketball fan for the same reason. When you work with people like Scott Satterfield and Matt McMahon, you care about them, their families, and their careers. Both of those men and champions and will win many games as head coaches.
9)Athlete that you covered at APP, that went above the “call of duty”?
DJ:Armanti Edwards did everything that was ever asked of him, and a lot was asked of him. I think he would be the first to tell you that he was not the best public speaker when he first came into stardom, but he worked at it, and he has become a go-to interview now. We were fortunate at App to have players that enjoyed that responsibility and represented themselves so well when the lights were shined upon them.
10)If you could announce a pro sport, what sport and what team would you call/announce for?
DJ:Chicago Cubs radio play-by-play. I love Pat Hughes and consider him one of the strongest influences in my career. I’d settle for a spot in the booth next to Chip Caray as well. I love baseball. My fondest moment in my broadcasting career was actually not App-Michigan, but instead it was that NCAA regional run back in 2012. Chris Pollard rebuilt a team that had been left to flounder into a championship contender. Those nights in Charlottesville — beating Oklahoma and Virginia were magical, and I will never forget the feeling of seeing those guys realize their dream of success.
**********Again, we thank David Jackson for his time here today, and we wish him the best, in his future endeavors…..**********