Report: Jeff Jackson Turns Down Return to Lakers

Former Lake Superior coach Jeff Jackson, a two-time national champion, recently turned down an offer to return to the Lakers, according to a report in the Kitchener-Waterloo (Ont.) Record.

Jackson, who left Lake Superior in 1996 to help start the U.S. National Developmental Program in Ann Arbor, Mich., before being fired from the program last year, has been coaching in the major junior Ontario League (OHL) for the Guelph Storm. He said he was enjoying his time in junior hockey, and didn’t think it was right to take the Lake State job back.

“I’ve made a commitment to be here, for how long I’m not sure,” Jackson said to the Record. “I feel we have some positive things going for the future, and I’ve learned to appreciate the OHL. I’m also not sure that looking for a new coach before firing the old one is the right thing to do.”

Lake Superior athletic director Bill Crawford denied having spoken to Jackson, but he did hint that a change was in the works, and acknowledged that others, knowing that, could’ve contacted the ex-coach.

“We’re not pursuing Jeff Jackson as a coach,” Crawford told the Record. “But I do think that if we’re going to make a change, some people here have maybe explored that a little bit. People here might ask him if he’s interested but I don’t think he is.”

The Lakers, ravaged by injuries all season, finished 13-23-0 under Borek in his fifth year as head coach, failing to make the CCHA playoffs. Last season, the Lakers finished a surprising third, but were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round by Bowling Green.

Reports have indicated a sometimes contentious relationship between Crawford and Borek. Borek pursued the Princeton coaching opening last summer, despite having just signed a contract extension.

If Lake Superior were to make a move, a possible replacement for Borek could be another former head coach, Frank Anzalone. Anzalone, who was in charge of the Lakers before Jackson, was fired earlier this season as head coach of the Pee Dee Pride of the ECHL after a near-two-year stint there. Anzalone has held a number of pro coaching jobs since leaving the Soo, where he also won a national championship in 1988.