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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Oxford Swings In As New Hackett Softball Coach

Arkansas River Valley Business Directory

At the end of the 2020-2021 softball season, beloved Hackett coach, Jeff Richardson, rendered his position as head softball coach. Along with Richardson, long-time History teacher, Mr. Steve Clark, retired at the end of the semester leaving two vacancies in the district. After interviewing for both positions, Jeff Oxford has been hired as the new History/Social Studies teacher as well as the head coach for the softball program. “After completing my internship at Hackett High School this past spring, I really had a great experience and knew Hackett was where I wanted to be,” expressed Oxford.

Jeff Oxford is a 1990 graduate of Mansfield High School. He has been married to his wife Carmen (Cotner) Oxford for 25 years. Carmen is a lass of 1991 Mansfield graduate as well and has been working as a provider at Mansfield Mercy Medical Clinic for 15 years. Together Jeff and Carmen have three daughters, Lacey 18, Sydney 16, and Lilly 14. Oxford had previously spent over 20 years in the logistics industry, most of that time with Eagle One Logistics as a Branch Operations Manager. After losing his job in the spring of 2018, Jeff determined it was time for a change!

Always wanting to be an educator, Jeff chose to return to college and pursue a career in teaching. “With the support of my wife and family, I was able to return to school full time and complete my teaching degree in three years, graduating from UAFS this past May. Truthfully when I returned to school to become a teacher, coaching was not my goal. I just felt a calling to help our youth and felt I could best accomplish that as an educator. But when the Hackett administration contacted me asking if I would be interested in taking over the softball program, I could not pass up the opportunity. I love working with kids and the relationships you build through athletics.”

Although this will be Coach Oxford’s first year as a teacher, he is no stranger to coaching. “I have coached travel baseball, volleyball, and softball for most of my adult life. Baseball back in my 20’s for my younger brother, Jason, where we had a very successful run, winning a Babe Ruth Arkansas State Championship, and Coaching Junior Olympic Volleyball for Mona Jones’ successful Club Velocity organization. But my coaching passion is softball, due to my experiences coaching travel softball for the past 8 years.”

“My goal is to just continue to build on the softball program. Coach Richardson has established a winning tradition at Hackett that I hope to build on. The kids in the Hackett community are used to winning (back-to-back State Titles in Volleyball) and that is what I plan to do, win!” For Oxford, getting the support of the community and backing the girls is at the top of his importance list. Recently, the girls held their first annual Lady Hornets Softball Camp which saw over 40 participants. “This camp helps the program in several ways. It shows the community we are interested in their kids, and we get to work with the young ones and help increase their interest in the sport so they are ready to play by the time they get to me.”

With summer practices already in full swing, Coach Oxford also has plans for a winter workout program. “My hope is to jump our program to the next level. Not only making it to Regionals and State but to compete for a title. And that is my goal for the program, to win a State Title. I would also like to add that I am extremely grateful to Mr. Ray and Mr. Freeman for giving me the opportunities I have been given at Hackett High School!”

Coach Jeff Oxford and wife Carmen
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