Retirees Association

Archdeacon: Marcus Jackson, first coach to lead Wright State to 20-win season, NCAA tourney, dies at 82

Marcus Brown

Excerpt from the Dayton Daily News

By Tom Archdeacon

Marcus Jackson, one of the first African Americans hired onto the Wright State University athletic staff and the first Raiders’ basketball coach to lead a WSU team to a 20-win season and an NCAA Tournament appearance, died early last week in Kansas. He was 82.

Abdul Shakur Ahmad, the star point guard of Jackson’s first team – the 1975-76 Raiders – said the coach’s wife, Corinne, told him her husband died from Alzheimer’s complications.

“On our first day of practice with him, I remember they rolled out the ball cart and there was a placard on it saying, ‘Team goals: 20 wins, NCAA Tournament bid,’” said Ahmad. “And every day after that, when we went in, we saw that.”

Although those were marks never before achieved in the young program, Ahmad – who was known as Rick Martin during his WSU days – said he and the other two returning senior starters, Bob Grote and Lyle Falkner, were determined to make them happen.

John Ross had coached the team its first five years and in his last three seasons the Raiders went 17-5, 17-8 and 15-10.

“Even before Marcus got there, we had decided we were going to the NCAA Tournament,” said Ahmad, who was a team captain and the Raiders’ co-MVP his senior year. “We all felt we should have gone to the Tournament in our junior year.”