Jay Jackson is the founder, president and CEO of Step Your Game Up, LLC. Jay is a Washington, D.C. native who attended St. John's College High School before graduating from St. Stephen's School in Alexandria, VA. Jay remained in D.C. and went to The Catholic University of America where he earned both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Sociology.
Jay has 13 years of coaching experience at the middle school, junior varsity and varsity levels. During this time, Jay has helped develop several professional players and numerous others that played at programs such as Wake Forest University, University of Virginia, Penn State University, University of Massachusetts, University of New Hampshire, Rice University, Bucknell University, Radford University, Liberty University and New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Jay has a lot of experience in finding "the right fit" between schools and families. Jay spent 10 years as the Assistant Director of Admission, Middle School at Flint Hill School in Oakton, VA. Working in the Admission Office, Jay was able to develop a great relationship with educational consultants and an even greater understanding of what they do.
Under the tutelage of legendary Coach Win Palmer, Jay helped guide St. Stephen's School to a 23-3 record and a #15 ranking by The Washington Post in his Senior year and a 22-3 record and a #8 ranking in his Junior year. The Saints also captured an Interstate Athletic Conference (IAC) championship, Mid-Atlantic Invitational Tournament of Champions championship, 2 Sleepy Thompson/St.Stephen's Invitational championships and 2 Virginia Independent School (VIS) State championships during that time.
In addition to the team accomplishments, Jay enjoyed tremendous individual success as well. During his Junior year, Jay made the Greensboro Day Holiday Invitational All Tournament team and was named VIS Honorable Mention All State. Jay had a phenomenal Senior year as he was an All Tournament selection at the Greensboro Day Holiday Invitational, Sleepy Thompson/St. Stephen's Invitational, VIS State Tournament and the Mid-Atlantic Invitational Tournament of Champions. Jay was named All IAC-First Team, VIS All State-First Team, Alexandria Journal All City-First Team, Alexandria Gazette All City-First Team and The Washington Post Honorable Mention All Metropolitan. Jay was also chosen as St. Stephen's Most Outstanding Player, Sleepy Thompson/St. Stephen's Invitational Most Valuable Player, The Washington Post Player of the Week and represented the District All Stars in the preliminary game of the prestigous Capital Classic All Star Game.
Recruited by many Division I, Division II, Division III and NAIA schools, Jay turned down offers from a number of bigger programs and committed to The Catholic University of America because it was "the right fit". Attending college in a major city, a school with an excellent academic reputation, being close to home and having the opportunity to rejuvinate the program was a lot more appealing than going to school "just to play ball". That decision paid off as Jay was extremely instrumental in turning things around going from 9 wins in his Freshman year, to 20 wins in his Sophomore year, to making the NCAA Tournament his Junior year and eventually winning a National Championship several years later.
Quickly realizing that the college game is a lot different than high school, Jay had to tweak, adjust and to a certain extent redevelop his game. Facing a 2 to 5 inch height disadvantage every game, through trial and error, Jay had to learn skills that would be successful at this level. Jay mastered his new post moves immediately as he scored 19 points in 21 minutes during his 1st collegiate game, became a starter 4 games into his Freshman season, made the Salisbury State Sea Gull Invitational All Tournament team, was twice named Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC)* Rookie Of the Week, selected All Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) 2nd Team^, scored double figures in 24 out 26 games and capped his phenomenal season off by being named ECAC South Region Rookie Of the Year.
Jay continued his brilliant play until 2 separate knee injuries ended his career after 3 seasons. Jay's decision to choose a school that was "the right fit" really paid off as he not only remained in school after his career was over, but earned a Masters degree as well.
* Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) is the nation's largest athletic conference and only multi-divisional conference, with 319 member institutions ranging across 16 states from Maine to North Carolina and westerly to Illinois. ECAC has 189 Division III member schools spread across 4 regions: New England, Upstate, Metro and South.
^ Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) did not have a Rookie of the Year award at this time.