Jason Kerr


A life-long fan of the game of basketball, Jason Kerr felt his physical talents were not going to allow him to continue playing after high school. After some encouragement from his older brother, he pursued coaching. A Seattle native, Kerr began his coaching career in the Fall of 1991. His first team was an 8th grade select team in Sammamish High School feeder program.

Kerr soon moved to Eastside Catholic to coach alongside his long-time mentor and WIBCA Hall of Fame Coach Al Kawashima as an 8th grade coach. It wasn’t long after he began coaching at Eastside that he was named the Head

Freshman Coach and Varsity Assistant. He coached with Kawashima until he stepped down in 1994. At the State Tournament that same year, Kerr approached O’Dea Coach Phil Lumpkin, asking if he needed help scouting. By the end of the tournament, Kerr had been offered a position on Coach Lumpkin’s staff. Kerr joined the coaching staff at O’Dea in the Fall of 1994 as a Varsity Assistant, including the 1997 29-0 undefeated 2A (3A) state champions.

At just 26 years old, Kerr applied and was offered a job as the Franklin High School head coach, making him the youngest head coach to be hired at a 4A school at the time. Kerr spent fourteen years coaching at Franklin making 10 state tournament appearances and capturing 3 state titles in 2003, 2006 and 2009.

Kerr took a step away from coaching and held a two-year tenure as a consultant for the WIAA Regional and State Tournaments as well as the 3A/4A State Tournament Director. In 2015, Kerr found himself back at O’Dea as the Head Varsity Coach. Since taking over as the Head Coach for the Irish, Kerr’s teams have made four trips to the state tournament (2016, 2018, 2020, 2022), appeared in 3 state championship games, and won one state title (2019).

As a Head Coach, Kerr has had the pleasure of coaching talented young men across his programs including Alvin Snow, AJ Brooks, Aaron Brooks, Kellen Williams, Venoy Overton, Peyton Siva, Xavier Smith, Noah Williams, and Paolo Banchero and is the only coach in Washington to have coached 3 McDonald’s All-Americans (Brooks, Siva, Banchero). He was awarded the Seattle Times All-State Basketball Coach of the Year in 2003 and the WIBCA Coach of the Year in 2003, 2006, 2009, and 2019.

Accolades and experience aside, there is an obvious difference in Kerr from many coaches, including the lasting impact he leaves on his players. While his knowledge of the game is strong, Coach Kerr’s real magic lies in his uncanny ability to mentor young men. He challenges you to be your best self with the discipline of a father, yet with the feeling of comradery of an older brother. He believes that the biggest “wins” are off the court in emotional growth and maturity of his players.

His team often adopts the personality of their coach; hardworking, committed, disciplined, intense. And while winning is great, he is most proud of his team’s response after a loss, emphasizing the character building lessons athletics can bring you.

Kerr values his coaching experience as something bigger than basketball, wanting his players to grow through the ups and downs of working as a team. Noting that sports and coaches provided him with the guidance he needed as a young man, he has continually paid it forward for the generations of athletes following.

While the impressive 423-148 record speaks for itself about his technical coaching ability, the impact Kerr has had on his players as they move into their adult lives far outweighs wins or losses. His coaching style has proved effective and successful, providing a place for his athletes to be supported, encouraged, and to be the best version of themselves now and in the future.