UAB softball honors fan family with “Donate Life Night”

WIAT | Chris Womack

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Andy Jackson grew up like a lot of American boys; however, while many of his counterparts flocked to America’s pastime, Jackson took to a bigger ball. “As a guy you always like baseball, but when you start seeing the girls compete and play it’s just a really neat game,” he said of his lifelong love, softball. Unbeknownst to him, Jackson was spending his formative years around a softball player that would not only become a dear friend, but one that would eventually take over the reigns at a NCAA Division I program. “It’s crazy, when I was playing twelve and under ball…he was out there while I was playing,” remembered Marla Townsend. Townsend and Jackson would reconnect in the 90’s, and the Blazers coach said one of her first calls when she got the UAB job was Andy. Jackson eventually coached travel ball with the Birmingham Vipers while his daughters were playing and became well-known throughout the softball community. “And Tonya was right there by his side the entire way,” remarked Townsend.

Tonya Jackson was Andy’s wife, and she was by his side as the couple became some of the Blazers’ biggest fans. “Sometimes she had to calm down Andy,” Townsend joked. “But she always had a smile on her face.” Continue reading

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