By T. Scott Boatright
Hue Jackson talked about “Grambling Legends” James “Shack” Harris” and Doug Williams as he was officially introduced Friday morning as the new head football coach at Grambling State University.
On Friday afternoon Harris and Williams voiced their approval of the move to hire the two-team former pro coach who the GSU duo know from their ties to the NFL.
Former Grambling State quarterback, Black College Football Hall of Famer, and former NFL quarterback and administrator James “Shack” Harris said he has had a long relationship with Jackson.
“I’ve known Hue for a long time,” Harris said. “He’s been an outstanding coach and coordinator in the NFL. Anytime someone gets two NF” head coaching jobs, you have to have earned an outstanding reputation and career. That’s hard to do.
“Hiring Hue it’s a good choice. I think it’s big that he had a chance to be a HBCU coach at Tennessee State and get to become a part of HBCU culture. I think that (new Grambling Vice President for Athletics Trayvean Scott) handled the whole search well and has made a good move.”
Doug Williams, former Grambling State quarterback, head coach and current Washington Football Team Senior Advisor, agrees with Harris.
“I think it’s a good choice,” Williams said. “Think about it, how many HBCUs have a coach that’s had two head coaching jobs in the National Football League? I talked to him a little bit and gave him my feelings about Grambling and that it’s a place to be.
“From Deon (Jackson State head coach Deon Sanders) to Eddie George (Tennessee State head coach) to Hue, it’s an exciting time for HBCU football,” Williams said. “I don’t think on any level — NFL on down — that you’re going to find too many people with a better resume, and someone more qualified, than Hue Jackson.
“Do you know how hard it is to become a NFL head coach? Do you know about how hard it is for a Black man to become a NFL head coach? And we’re talking about someone who’s had two NFL head coaching jobs. Who’s going to be more organized than Hue Jackson, because in the NFL, if you’re not organized, you’re not getting a job.”
Eddie Robinson III, grandson and namesake of Grambling’s College Hall of Fame coaching legend said he was impressed with the hire.
“I’ve always admired Hue Jackson and have kind of followed him,” Robinson III said. “If he puts together a good staff — coaching and recruiting — he can have much success here. He has such a great NFL pedigree, but cut his teeth in college football, so I think he’s very well qualified coaching on both levels. He’s got to put together a good staff and go out and beat the bushes for recruits, but I think he can do it. I wish him well and will do anything I can do to help him.”
Chad Johnson, former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver, played under Jackson’s guidance and said his former mentor is a good choice as head G-Man.
“Grambling and its players are getting the best coach I ever had,” Johnson said. “Hue is the reason for my success not just on the field but off, the true meaning of a player’s coach. I’m excited and happy for him.”
Harris said he’s ready to see Jackson getting down to the business of returning the GSU football program to its past glory
“It’s a big win for Grambling to bring in a guy with that kind of experience and organizational skills,” Harris said. “I think he can put together a good staff and can get down to finding some good recruits as players. He has specialized in working with quarterbacks, and I think it’s a great move for Grambling to go with a guy of Coach Jackson’s caliber.”
Photo: Glenn Lewis
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