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LBJ's head football coach ready to win major battle

Andrew Jackson (PHOTO: CBS AUSTIN)

Not one high school coach in this country was more excited to launch out of bed than Andrew Jackson was Monday morning.

“I was like a little child up since 4 o’clock couldn't go back to sleep,” Jackson said.

“Didn't want to wake up late and miss practice."

Day one of football at LBJ--year 21 as a head coach.

“Every year brings something new - something different,” explained the LBJ head coach.

Unfortunately this year it's the biggest “different” Jackson’s ever faced.

“God sustained me since March,” said Jackson. "I haven't had much pain at all. I said that I want to give it a shot and coach – it’s part of my ministry and purpose. That's what I’m doing now."

Toward the end of last season, Jackson’s energy started to fade. By March doctors told him why.

The diagnosis: stage four esophageal cancer that also spread to his liver and lungs.

Jahmal Fenner is Jackson’s associate head coach, and is taking over the majority of coaching duties when Jackson’s absent.

“Coach has been total impact on my life,” said Fenner. “I wouldn't be where I am today. He always believed in me.”

And vice versa. Jackson gushes about Fenner, hardly believing himself the impact he's had.

“To know I was the reason he wanted to be a coach and see him want to follow in my footsteps. It's a wonderful feeling - you know what you did wasn't in vein.”

“I see me in him."

Jackson’s plan is to coach with Fenner for another four months, at least.

"I have plans to coach this team all 10 games if that's God's will,” said a smiling Jackson. “I plan on coaching hopefully more than 10 games - I’d like to coach 14 or 15 this year. Tell you where my hopes are."

As for his hopes off the field - those are in an amazing place, with amazing grace.

“I believe God is going to heal me and that's going to be a miracle testimony for folks and leave me around to be testimony for his cause. That's what I’m willing to do.”

See? Whether it's day one or day one thousand...Not one high school coach in this country is more excited to launch out of bed than Andrew Jackson. Because if nothing else - he can deliver the message he holds so true.

“The purpose of cancer is for me to get closer to lord and savior Jesus Christ - so I don't look at it as a curse, I look at it as a blessing. Some people think it's crazy but that's really how I feel about it.”

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