Jordan Blackburn recently was filled with emotion when he dropped off his oldest child for the first day of kindergarten.
Three days earlier, he had signed his contract to begin what would have been his 11th season coaching the Delaware Hayes boys basketball team, but the thought of not being around as often for his family in the coming months caused him to reflect on his situation and ultimately change his mind.
On Aug. 23, Blackburn, a father of three, resigned as Pacers coach.
“I do love this place,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed the work. I’ve loved where I’ve coached and I’ve loved the people.”
A 1999 Reynoldsburg graduate who played for Ohio Wesleyan before transferring and graduating from Ohio University in 2004, Blackburn was named interim coach of the Pacers in August 2009, one month after former coach Larry Eberst died in an experimental aircraft accident.
Blackburn, who had served as an assistant coach under Eberst for five seasons, compiled a 142-88 record at Delaware. The Pacers posted a program-record 21 wins during the 2013-14 season and went 20-5 and were Division I district runners-up the following season.
Last season, Delaware went 17-7 overall and 9-5 in the OCC-Cardinal Division and lost to Olentangy Orange 66-59 in the second round of the district tournament.
According to Blackburn, the Pacers produced no college scholarship players from 1963-2008 but have had 12 earn scholarships since, including Khalil Iverson, a 2015 graduate who played for Wisconsin.
“When I think about these kids, I can’t help but feel proud of them and recall what great kids they were and how much time they put into it,” Blackburn said.