Ryan resigns as varsity coach after four seasons leading the Bluejackets

By Noah Dalton

MITCHELL – After four seasons as head coach at Mitchell High School, Jackson Ryan has announced his decision to resign from his position.

Ryan said his decision was not motivated by results, team performance, or anything related to the basketball court. With two children, including a daughter who was born last April, Ryan is looking to focus more on his family life, stepping away from the program to be able to spend more time with his kids.

Throughout the season, Ryan said he struggled to balance being a parent with building the foundations of the program in the way he wanted to, which led to his decision.

Mitchell Head Coach Jackson Ryan talks with his team during a timeout

“I just feel like right now, not that I let anything at the high school level lack this year, but there are things throughout the program that maybe didn’t get enough time and attention as what I have done in the past. For example, I always try to go to three or four Junior high games, and three or four junior high practices for all the teams, and this year for the first time, I was thinking, do I go to those? Do I go home and spend time with Ruby and Curry? And that’s just an easy choice for me to spend that time with them, to be with them more,” he said.

“And I don’t think it’s fair to the program from top to bottom when I’m sure that someone is out there that can go the extra mile, can give all that time and to be all in. Where, for me, whether I’m at home or whether I’m at the gym, I’m thinking, is there somewhere else I should be? Is there something else I should be doing? So, I really struggled with that this year. And that’s why I ultimately made the decision.”

Ryan’s tenure at the helm began in the 2020-21 season, with the team winning just three games, with a 3-14 overall record. They bounced back the following two seasons, winning seven games in each, including winning the program’s first postseason game since 2011 in 2023, when the defeated North Knox in the opening round of sectional play.

Keeping up with the trend, the team continued to improve in the 23-24 season, where they won 12 games, finishing with an overall record of 12-12, marking just the fourth time Mitchell had won at least 12 games in a season since 2000.

Ryan is proud of the strides the program made under his leadership, thanking the players, as well as the other members of the coaching staff for their contributions along the way.

The Mitchell team poses with their Cement City Classic trophy

“I’m extremely proud. I walk in the door naive, bright-eyed and I’m welcomed with COVID. I’m dealing with that and everybody handling things differently and not really getting to do things how you normally would from top to bottom in a program from day one. And battling through that and just the progress from then to where we are today; the kids and their work ethic and their commitment and also my staff,” said Ryan.

“Derrick George, he’s my best friend. He has been there with me since day one. Mark Ryan, just growing up and learning everything I know about life and the game of basketball from him. And you sprinkle in some of the other guys that we’ve had that just breathe Mitchell basketball; Alex Speer, Luke Lafevor, Kyle Blackwell. And then you add some guys like Peyton Storms, and Josh Haltom. I’ve just been so blessed with the staff that we’ve had in my time and that’s made this progress. It wasn’t just one person. It wasn’t one player. It wasn’t overnight. This was a process and that’s why I think you see that steady progress from day one to today.”

Ryan said this isn’t a final goodbye from Bluejackets basketball or coaching for him, instead just him stepping away for the time being, though he’s ultimately unsure of what the future will hold for him.

Having spent much of his life dedicating his free time to the game of basketball, he said it’s going to be a big adjustment for him, but a necessary one.

“I’ll be honest, in my 30 years, whether it’s my dad coaching, me playing, me coaching, my schedule has never really not revolved around the boys high school basketball schedule. So, I really don’t know. I don’t have anything planned, I just know that number one, I just need to be around for my kids,” he said.


  • 2020-21: 3-14
  • 2021-22: 7-16
  • 2022-23: 7-18
  • 2023-24: 12-12

Overall: 29-60