Former WNBA star and head women’s basketball coach at Wiley College Tiffany Jackson has passed away at the age of 37 after a lengthy battle with breast cancer.
“We were extremely saddened at the passing of Coach Jackson, she was an incredible light for our students and an amazing member of the Wiley College family. Her dedication to Wiley College was evident in how she interacted with the students and her community. She will be sorely missed. We are praying for her family and friends,” said President and CEO Herman J. Felton, Jr.
A standout basketball player at the University of Texas, Jackson was named to the All-Big 12 team three times and was a first-team All-American as a sophomore.
The former Longhorn went on to the WNBA where she was the fifth overall pick in the 2007 draft by the New York Liberty. She spent 10 seasons in the WNBA finishing with career averages of 6.2 points and 4.5 rebounds.
In addition, she also played six years in the Israeli Winners League for Maccabi Ashdod leading the team to a championship each season and winning the Finals MVP four times.
It was in the 2015 season that Jackson was first diagnosed with stage four breast cancer while playing for the Shock. After going into remission the following year, she returned to the court for one more season in the WNBA.
Following retirement, Jackson spent four seasons as an assistant coach with her alma mater Texas Longhorns. In April, she was hired as a head coach for the first time with the Wiley Wildcats.
“The GCAC is devastated to hear of Tiffany Jackson’s passing,” said Gulf Coast Athletic Conference commissioner Dr. Kiki Baker Barnes. “Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with her family. Tiffany was so much more than a basketball star. She was a mother, a friend, and a mentor to many. She taught us how to fight courageously and give wholeheartedly. Our world lost a bright light and an incredible leader.”