Former NFL wide receiver Frisman Jackson, a Chicago native who started his collegiate football career at Northern Illinois, has joined NIU Head Coach Dave Doeren‘s staff as an assistant coach on the offensive side of the ball, Doeren announced Tuesday.
Jackson, who caught 40 passes for 490 yards while playing wide receiver and on special teams for the Cleveland Browns from 2002-2006, comes to Northern Illinois after coaching wide receivers at Akron for the past two seasons.
“I am very excited to bring one of NIU’s former greats back as a member of our offensive staff,” Doeren said. “I know Fris will be a huge asset, not only as a coach but as a mentor to our players. With his background as a recruiter in Chicago and as a player in the NFL, he brings great experience. It’s my pleasure to welcome he and his wife, Lindsey, and their daughter, Anya Lali, to the Huskie family.”
Prior to his time at Akron, Jackson spent two seasons as receivers coach at his alma mater, Western Illinois, in 2008 and 2009.
During his time at Western, Leatherneck receiver Lito Senatus was ranked in the Top 30 in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) in receptions and in the Top 40 in receiving yards in 2009.
With his return to Northern Illinois as a member of the coaching staff, Jackson’s football career has come full circle. The Morgan Park High School grad began his collegiate playing career as a quarterback at NIU from 1997-99 before transferring to Western Illinois, where he played quarterback and wide receiver for the Leathernecks in 2000 and 2001.
As a Huskie, Jackson completed 109-of-259 passes for 1,327 yards in 10 starts over three seasons. He made his first start as a true freshman versus No. 22 Kansas State and had his best game versus Western Michigan in the 1998 season opener when he completed 24-of-43 passes for 271 yards and three touchdowns with 300 yards of total offense.
At WIU, he set the school records for catches (14) and receiving yards (286) in a game versus Indiana State on Nov. 17, 2001. He ranks fourth on the WIU single-season list for yards with 1,041 and is 10th in single season catches with 55.
“It is great to be able to come back to NIU,” Jackson said.
“To come back now and see what this program has become and what the team has achieved under Joe Novak, Jerry Kill and Dave Doeren is awesome and I’m excited to be a part of it. Being able to come back to Illinois, where I grew up, spent most of my life and learned the game of football, is special for me and my family. I’ll be back in the area I’m most familiar with as far as recruiting and connecting with high school coaches, and I get to stay in the MAC. The league has some great coaches and there is an exciting brand of football being played in the Mid-American Conference.”
Jackson earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Western Illinois.
Jackson fills the opening created by the departure of assistant coach Eddie Faulkner, who departed for Pittsburgh. His specific position assignment and other duties will be determined once the entire staff is set for 2012.
In its first season under Doeren, the 2011 Huskies tied the school record with 11 wins while winning NIU’s first Mid-American Conference Championship since 1983. Northern Illinois goes into 2012 with nine consecutive victories, and will enter the season with the nation’s longest winning streak.