It was not a part of Jackson Vaughn’s agenda when he suffered a career-ending injury during his freshman year at Linfield College while playing for the football team. Because of his injury, he gained early exposure to coaching, and although he did not realize it at the time, it marked the beginning to a successful coaching career here at Linfield.
Vaughn, head coach of the softball team and assistant coach of the football team, has just finished his 17th year as the defensive coordinator for the football team, and his 12th year as the head coach for the softball program.
“I have a lot of ties, history and memories involving all of the teams in our conference,” Vaughn said. “Conference has not changed too much, and many teams have come and gone through the years. As a coach, I have realized the benefits of building a stable program.”
In his senior year, Jackson was finishing up his accounting degree. He had never considered teaching and coaching to be a possible career for him. However, after completing several job interviews, Vaughn realized that sitting behind a desk all day would not be his ideal career. He then returned to Linfield in the fall for a fifth year to earn his degree in education. Luckily, he had taken education as a backup and had enough courses to finish in one year.
Vaughn assumed he would work as a teacher and coach at the high school level right out of college. At the same time that he was looking for a job, an opening at Linfield was made available, and Jackson took advantage of the opportunity.
“I enjoy the interaction with players and the opportunity to teach and help athletes on a day to day basis,” Vaughn said. “Jobs in the office are just not as much fun.”
Vaughn enjoys working with athletes at the college level because he is impressed with their ability to balance schoolwork and athletics.
“The two sports I coach have been competitive at the national level,” he said. “It takes a lot of hard work to get there, while still trying to maintain somewhat of a social life.”
He urges athletes, especially those who participate in spring sports to take some time off when summer rolls around.
“It is important to let the body recover,” Vaughn said. “I want my athletes to go do something fun now that school is out. Celebrate and relax. By mid-june it will be time to get back into working out. Athletes only have a four year span to maximize their talent and athletic careers. It is important to remember this during the off season.”
Sarah Mason can be reached at