Longtime Franklin boys basketball coach Jason Kerr resigned Wednesday.
Kerr, 40, leaves Franklin after 14 seasons as the head coach having won three state titles. He said he wants to spend more time with his two daughters, ages 3 and 7, as they grow up.
“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 making the state tournament seven times in eight seasons. Kerr was 26 at the time and had been an assistant at O’Dea.
In the coming years, he guided Franklin to the state tournament 10 times and finished fifth or better six times. He won his first state title in 2003, then won two more in 2006 and 2009. He was named the state’s coach of the year twice and coached NBA player Aaron Brooks and Louisville star Peyton Siva.
Franklin once again made the state tournament this year and placed fifth. But Kerr knew before the playoffs that he was stepping down, and he quietly informed his staff.
“I related 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 in the Metro League and also one of the area’s most entertaining personalities on the sideline. His knack for getting the most out of his players might be rivaled by his knack for getting on officials.
He leaves with a record of 271-94 (.740 winning percent)
“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 at Franklin, will assume interim coaching duties. 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 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.”
Jason Kerr, By the Numbers
Years at Franklin: 14
Age when he was hired: 26
State titles: 3
State tournament appearances: 10
Career record: 271-94
Career winning percentage: .740
20-win seasons: 7
Losing seasons: 1