Kevin Jackson coaching J'den Cox at Final X (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
Kevin Jackson, 1992 Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler who went on to use those skills as a coach and in mixed martial arts, has been named to the Class of 2019 of the Louisiana State University Athletic Hall of Fame, the school announced this week.
Jackson, along with six other former LSU athletes, will be welcomed at an induction ceremony to be held on Friday, October 11, at the Capitol Park Museum in downtown Baton Rouge.
Jackson posted this message on Twitter:
As a wrestler for the LSU Tigers, Kevin Andre Jackson was a three-time NCAA Division I All-American, placing second at 150 pounds in 1983, third at 158 in 1984, and seventh in the 167-pound bracket at the 1985 NCAAs. After the Baton Rogue-based school eliminated its wrestling program, Jackson headed north to Iowa State, where, at the 1987 NCAAs, he was runner-up at 167 pounds.
Beyond his collegiate wrestling success, Jackson made a name for himself in international freestyle competition. He won the gold medal at 82 kilograms/180.5 pounds at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, becoming only the second African-American wrestler to claim Olympic gold. Jackson also was a two-time World champion, earning gold in 1991 and 1995, and, in those same years, won gold at the Pan American Games.
Jackson shared his wrestling expertise as a coach, first as national freestyle coach at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs ... then, later, as head coach at Iowa State from 2010-2017.
If that weren't enough, Jackson fought in MMA in the mid-1990s - including a handful of bouts in UFC -- compiling a 4-2 record as a light-heavyweight.
In addition to Kevin Jackson, other athletes who will be welcomed into the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame this fall include NCAA track and field champion Walter Davis, Olympic wrestling gold medalist Kevin Jackson, All-American linebacker Bradie James, All-American baseball infielder Jason Williams, NCAA gymnastics champion Susan Jackson, All-American softball infielder Ashlee Ducote and All-American women's golfer Meredith Duncan. All were selected by the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame Election Board.
"There is no greater honor for a former student-athlete at LSU than to be selected to this venerable hall of fame," said LSU Director of Athletics Scott Woodward. "It's a very difficult hall of fame in which to be inducted. Those in the hall represent the very best of LSU Athletics as students, as athletes and as all-around contributors to this university and its great history. We are so proud to welcome this new class."
In addition to being welcomed into the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame, Jackson has earned a number of honors, including the 1995 John Smith Award as National Freestyle Wrestler of the Year, 1992 Amateur Wrestling News Man of the Year and 1991 USA Wrestling and USOC Wrestler of the Year. Jackson is a member of the International Wrestling Hall of Fame, the United States National Wrestling Hall of Fame (as a distinguished member) and the Iowa State University Athletics Hall of Fame.