Former Baltimore Ravens quarterback coach Hue Jackson became the 15th African-American head coach in NFL history after his latest promotion from Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis. Jackson, 45, served as the Raiders offensive coordinator in 2010 under former head coach Tom Cable.

He ran the play calling duties for the Raiders last season, leading them to more than twice as many points in 2010 as they scored in ’09. Jackson’s rejuvenated offensive unit helped Oakland win eight games last year, avoiding an eighth straight losing season. Before he joined the Raiders, he served as the Ravens’ quarterbacks coach from 2008-‘09, helping develop third-year quarterback Joe Flacco into one of the top productive passers in the league.

“I’m excited about Hue getting the head coaching job,” Raiders tight end Zach Miller told ESPN in a phone interview. “I really like the direction our offense is going and how much we improved. This was the best offensive year we’ve had since I’ve been a Raider. I’m excited to have the continuity.”

Jackson is now the third Black NFL head coach named this year, following the Minnesota Vikings’ Leslie Frazier and the Denver Broncos’ Eric Studesville, both named interim head coach for their teams during the ’10 season. Frazier was named the Vikings’ permanent head coach on Jan. 3, while Studesville went back to his former position as the Broncos’ running backs coach after John Fox was named the new head coach last week.

There are now seven African-American head coaches currently in the league, including Jackson, Frazier, the Cincinnati Bengals’ Marvin Lewis, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mike Tomlin, the Indianapolis Colts’ Jim Caldwell, the Chicago Bears’ Lovie Smith and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Raheem Morris.

David Shaw, another former Ravens assistant coach was also recently hired as head coach of Stanford University’s football team. Shaw, a 38-year-old African American, served as offensive coordinator under former Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh, who was just named the new head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. Shaw not only served the last four years on Stanford’s football coaching staff, but is also a former player and graduate of the university. He served from 2002-’04 as the Ravens receivers/quarterbacks coach.

“David has the experience, intellect, coaching skills and organizational abilities to be a tremendous head coach,” said Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby via Stanford University’s athletic website. “He understands the combination of world class academics and world class athletics that is required at Stanford.”


Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor