ARLINGTON, Texas – The success of a college basketball program is largely dictated by activities that take place out of the public eye.
The long hours of preparation. Attention placed on the smallest of details. The search for every possible competitive advantage.
While the coaches and players are responsible for making sure the on-court product is on point, most of the responsibility for ensuring the program is operating efficiently falls on the operations staff.
That is why hiring a top-notch operations staff was a top priority when men’s basketball coach Chris Ogden was handed his first head coaching position at UT Arlington in April.
Ogden, who started his career behind the scenes in basketball administration following his playing career at Texas, appointed Jarred Jackson as UTA’s director of men’s basketball operations and Parker Eidson as a graduate assistant operations coordinator.
Jackson and Eidson will be responsible for a variety of daily activities related to all aspects of the UTA men’s basketball programs, including video evaluation and scouting, scheduling, equipment, youth camps and community service projects.
“I knew when I accepted my first head coaching job that I would need to have a strong operations staff to run things behind the scenes and keep us organized,” said Ogden. “I feel like we hit a home run in attracting Jared and Parker to join the program. They both have a great deal of experience, which gives me absolute confidence in the manner in which our program will operate.”
Jackson, a native of Columbia, S.C., joined Ogden’s staff after spending last season as a graduate assistant at Texas Tech. He started his basketball career as a high school coach before serving two seasons as an assistant at his alma mater, Lander University ‘07.
An all-state player in high school, Jackson earned all-league honors twice and became one of Lander’s all-time leaders in scoring, free throws and 3-point field goals. In three of his four seasons, he was named the team’s Most Valuable Player.
After earning his master’s degree from Liberty University, he joined Lander’s basketball staff in 2015 and helped lead the Bearcats to a league title and the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in nine seasons.
“My wife and I are extremely grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Coach Ogden’s staff,” said Jackson. “Although this is his first Head Coaching position, Coach Ogden has spent years learning from some of the best college basketball coaches in the country as both a player and coach. Those experiences along with his player-first coaching style will be crucial in creating a successful program and culture.
“In my short time here, it’s very clear to me that UTA is a University that promotes excellence in both academics and athletics. The facilities here rival any mid-major school in the country and our location in the DFW area will allow us to recruit some of the best players in the state. Success is not desired, it’s expected here. We’re fortunate and excited to be a part of that culture.”
Eidson, a 2016 graduate of the University of Tennessee, joins the Mavericks after four seasons as a student assistant at his alma mater and one year as a graduate assistant at Texas Tech.
“I really enjoy coordinating the operations functions of the program and working under Coach Ogden in his first season at UT Arlington presents a wonderful opportunity,” said Eidson, a native of Nashville, Tenn. “I have worked with Coach Ogden for a few years at both Tennessee and Texas Tech and I have complete belief in the direction of the UTA program under his direction.”
While an undergraduate student, Eidson worked under three head coaches – current Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin, Donnie Tyndall and current Volunteers coach Rick Barnes. He assisted the coaching and operations staffs with recruiting, summer camps, team travel and supervision of the team managers. He also assisted with the skill development of numerous professional players, including Josh Richardson, Jarnell Stokes, Jordan McRae and Kevin Punter.
Eidson is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public administration at UTA.
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