Men's Basketball Coaching Staff

Jay Powell
Head Men's Basketball Coach

When asked for some words for his bio, Coach Powell responded, “I want to make sure we follow my C-U-T philosophy every day.  Teams and individuals that play this game with confidence, unity, and toughness succeed.  When a man decides to come play at Gulf Coast, his expectation should be that he will be pushed toward success in the classroom, success as a person, and success as a basketball player.  Everyone makes plenty of mistakes, but I want my men, my family, and myself to strive for greatness in all areas.  That is what we are going to do here.”


Jay Powell enters his 11th year leading the Gulf Coast State College Commodores.  In the previous nine years, Coach Powell’s teams have won 174 games.  That total leaves him only behind Jack Jackson on the all-time wins list at GC. 


Fifty men have gone from Gulf Coast to four year schools after playing for Coach Powell the past eleven years. (Click here to see list of schools men have attended.)  Thirty-five men have gone on to play basketball at NCAA Division 1 schools.  Highlights from his tenure are Marquis Gilstrap being named an All-American after the 2008-2009 season.  Brad Reese scored over 1,000 points during his two years at Gulf Coast.  In 2009, the Commodores advanced to the state championship game before losing by 3 points.  six times in the past nine seasons, the Commodores have finished in second or third place in the Panhandle Conference.  Few people realize how tough it is to finish towards the top of the best junior college conference in America.  Even better finishes are in the future for the program. 


Over 87% of men playing basketball for Coach have graduated from Gulf Coast with an Associate’s Degree.  The program has truly become the epitome of a student first, student-athlete focused program.  Coming from parents who were life-long educators, those roots are entrenched in coach’s fabric.  The academic expectations are very high for his men. 


Coach Powell and his family live in Panama City Beach.  He was born in Rome, GA and grew up in Benton, KY.  His bachelors degree in history is from Murray State University.  He earned his masters degree in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia University-Irvine.  Kara, his wife, is an elementary school teacher and they have two children Gannon and Jaelynn.   Coach serves as a deacon at Gulf Beach Baptist Church. Also, he is the on campus huddle leader for Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).  


Phone: 850.747.3235
Email: jpowell@gulfcoast.edu



Nate Schmidt
Assistant Men's Basketball Coach

Nate Schmidt enters his first season as an Assistant Coach for the Commodores Basketball program.


Coach Schmidt spent the last three seasons at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. In the 2016-17 season, Schmidt and the Cyclones went 24-11 overall and finished in a tie for second place at 12-6. The Cyclones were also one of the nation's best offensive teams, finishing No. 11 in adjusted offensive efficiency and ranking 38th in scoring offense (80.8 points). The Cyclones were No. 15 in 3-point field goal percentage and No. 16 in 3-pointers made per game.


Schmidt's first season in Ames saw Iowa State advance to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive season while posting a 25-9 record. The Cyclones went 12-6 in the Big 12 to finish tied for second place. ISU won the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship title and beat nine nationally-ranked foes during the 2014-15 campaign.

The 2014-15 Cyclone offensive attack paced the Big 12 with 77.9 points per game and Niang was named an All-American by the NABC and The Associated Press. Niang was one of three Cyclones to earn All-Big 12 honors and Jameel McKay was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.
Three players have been NBA Draft picks during Schmidt's time in Ames. Morris, Niang and Abdel Nader, all of which worked closely with Schmidt on the court during his time as a graduate assistant, were picked in the 2016 & 2017 NBA Draft.


The Ypsilanti, Michigan, native joined the Iowa State staff after serving as an assistant coach at Romulus High School in Romulus, Michigan since 2011. Romulus won the Class A title in 2013. He has also spent time as an assistant coach with the All Michigan Basketball Club AAU program.


Schmidt graduated from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, where he earned a degree in economics in 2014. He was a member of the Big Red basketball team in 2010-11. He earned his master's degree from Iowa State in educational leadership and policies in 2016.

Phone: 850.873.3568

Email: nschmidt@gulfcoast.edu




Scott Jackson

Assistant Men's Basketball Coach

Scott Jackson will be entering his fourth season with the Gulf Coast State College Men's Basketball program. Coach Jackson has been coaching basketball and baseball at different levels for 15 years.


Prior to coming to Gulf Coast State, Coach Jackson spent 2 years as an assistant coach for Pensacola State College Men's Basketball team.  He was responsible for academics and player development for the team and helped Pensacola State win the 2013-2014 Panhandle Conference title, their first title in 15 years.  In 2 years at Pensacola State, he coached 3 First Team All-Panhandle Conference Team players and 4 Second Team All-Panhandle Conference Team players.  He had 6 players sign Division 1 and 3 players sign Division 2 scholarships.


Before coaching basketball at Pensacola State, Coach Jackson spent 1 year with the PSC baseball team.  He has also coached baseball collegiately at Indiana Univeristy, Butler University, Wabash Valley Junior College, and spent 9 years coaching high school baseball.


Coach Jackson will be responsible for recruiting, academics, player development, and scouting for the program.  He is from Bloomington, IN.  He graduated from Indiana University with a B.A. in Sports Communications.  He played basketball and baseball for Bloomington North HS.


Phone: 850.873.3568

Email: sjackso17@gulfcoast.edu






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