After three state championships and 271 wins in 14 seasons at Franklin, the 40-year-old Kerr is resigning to spend more time with his young family.
Jason Kerr, who won three state championships in 14 seasons as boys basketball coach at Franklin High School, announced his resignation Wednesday.
Kerr, 40, said he wants to spend more time with his wife and daughters, ages 3 and 7.
“Like I said last night at home, ‘Hey, this is my new team,’ ” Kerr said. ” ‘So where’s the dog? I need to yell at somebody.’ “
Kerr took over at Franklin in 1999 for Ron Drayton, who resigned after winning two state titles and reaching the state tournament seven times in eight seasons. Kerr was 26 at the time and had been an assistant at O’Dea.
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He guided Franklin to the state tournament 10 times and finished fifth or better six times. His Quakers won state titles in 2003, 2006 and 2009. Kerr was named state coach of the year twice and coached future NBA player Aaron Brooks and Louisville star Peyton Siva.
Franklin again made the state tournament this year and placed fifth. But Kerr knew before the playoffs that he would step down, and he quietly informed his staff.
“I related it to getting married,” Kerr said. “When you see the person you know you want to marry, you just know and until you have that experience you can’t describe it to someone else. It’s the same thing here. When I knew it was time to step down, it was just kind of there and I knew.”
Kerr was the second-longest tenured coach at a Metro League school, after Rainier Beach’s Mike Bethea, and was one of the area’s most entertaining personalities on the sideline. His knack for getting the most out of his players might be rivaled only by his knack for getting on officials.
He leaves with a career record of 271-94.
“For the local basketball community and the kids coming up, I feel sadness,” Seattle Prep coach Mike Kelly said. “I think he’s always done right by kids and always has been good for kids.”
Craig Jackson, Kerr’s longtime assistant, will become head coach on an interim basis. Jackson was on the bench for 13 of Kerr’s 14 seasons. “The kids are in good hands,” Kerr said.
Kerr didn’t rule out the possibility of coaching again, but he isn’t thinking about that at this point.
“My wife is the one giving the line, ‘We know we’re not doing anything for a year, and beyond that we’d be foolish to try to predict,’ ” Kerr said. “It’s the right time for here and now. Where the next chapter is, I don’t know.”
Jayson Jenks: 206-464-8277 or email@example.com