SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Western Mass Zombies of the East Coast Basketball League (ECBL) have improved their staff by hiring Wesley Jackson as an assistant coach.

Jackson, the executive director of the Zombies home court, is also the athletic director for Baystate Academy Charter Public School in Springfield, and Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School in Chicopee. Jackson also is the assistant men’s basketball coach at Westfield State Univesity.

The Zombies placed second last year, falling to the Hub City Hogs 118-102 in the first round of conference playoffs, after winning the Mid-Atlantic Conference championship in the team’s first season in the ECBL.

“We are excited to announce that we have added to our coaching staff. Wesley Jackson will be joining head coach Brian Stasaitis and player/coach Andre Daniel on the bench. Wes has the basketball knowledge and is entrenched in the city of Springfield. My wife and I are excited that he will be joining the Zombie family,” said Zombies owner Bill Bullock.

Jackson has over 20 years of coaching experience to bring to the Zombies. He has served as coach and director of AAU, youth, and adult teams at the community center, including the SECC All-Stars. Jackson has helped the organization produce four Lahovich winners, awarded to the best male basketball player in western Massachusetts, and helped over 100 student-athletes get into college.

Jackson holds a Bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Phoenix and will pursue his Master’s degree in non-profit management at Bay Path University. The team will soon be announcing open tryout sessions.

“Fortunately, I was able to see all the home games here at the South End Community Center,” Jackson said. “I already have relationships with many of the players; some I have known or coached since they were 11 and 12 years old. I feel I have the respect and relationships with them to have hard and real conversations. I believe those relationships will be helpful to the success of the team. Just like the team of Bill, Brian, and myself; the players will need to understand their roles for success, make sacrifices, and work together to the common goals of the team. We have the physical talent to win. I will help with some of the tweaks needed there, but chemistry and the mental approach to the game will be what gets us back to the top.”