Mark Jackson appointed MK Dons head coach

Mark Jackson appointed MK Dons head coach

Assistant coach takes up managerial position.

Leeds United can confirm Mark Jackson has left the club to take on his first senior managerial role at Sky Bet League One side MK Dons.

Jackson, who has been an important part of Jesse Marsch’s first team staff since his arrival in February, departs with the best wishes of the club.

The 45-year-old began his playing career with the Whites and made 23 appearances for the club in all competitions and also went on to play for Huddersfield Town, Barnsley, Scunthorpe United, Kidderminster Harriers and Farsley.

Following his retirement, he returned to his boyhood club Leeds as part of the Academy coaching setup at Thorp Arch and was appointed head coach of the Under-18s in 2016.

He led the Under-18s to the Professional Development Northern League title during the 2017/18 season and was promoted to Under-23s coach in September 2020.

In his first campaign as Under-23s boss, he guided the team to the Premier League 2 Division 2 title, earning promotion to Premier League 2 Division 1.

Following the appointment of Marsch at Leeds United, he impressed the Whites head coach and was named on the first team staff, helping Leeds retain Premier League status last season.

He now takes up his first senior managerial role at Stadium MK and he will be looking to guide the Dons away from the relegation zone.

Speaking about his departure, director of football Victor Orta said: “Whilst I am sad to let Mark leave us, this is a great opportunity for him to go and experience being a head coach and he deserves to take this next step.

“Not only has Jacko been instrumental in progressing many of our young players, but he has also been a really important part of Jesse’s team.

“We will always be grateful to Jacko and I am sure that the fans will always welcome him at Elland Road.”

Head coach Jesse Marsch also paid tribute to Jackson and thanked him for everything he has done for the club.

Marsch said: “Jacko has been outstanding during my time at Leeds United.

“He is a top coach, but more importantly a great person and he taught me and the other staff what it means to be Leeds.

“He will be sadly missed around Thorp Arch, but this is an opportunity he needs to take to grow.

“We will all be looking out for his results and hope he has great success.”

Everyone at Leeds United would like to thank Mark for his efforts and we wish him nothing but success in the future.

An update on his replacement will be announced in due course.