Syracuse hires Jackson to coach defensive line

Updated: February 1, 2007, 1:26 PM ET
Associated Press

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Syracuse head football coach Greg Robinson has hired Derrick Jackson as his new defensive line coach.

Jackson spent last year as defensive line coach at Michigan State and replaces Tim Cross, who left a week ago to take a similar job at Minnesota.

"There were a number of people who had very strong interest in the job and who I had definite interest in," Robinson said. "But I can say that when I got tied in to dealing with Derrick and spending time with Derrick, I felt strongly that it was the right fit."

Jackson had been in limbo since the Spartans dismissed head coach John L. Smith in November.

Jackson, a safety on the Duke team that Steve Spurrier led to a share of the 1989 ACC title, began coaching in 1999, overseeing tight ends at West Georgia, a Division III school. Two years later, he took the defensive line coaching job at Army for two years, then spent two seasons at Eastern Illinois, and in 2005 coached defensive tackles at Northern Illinois, a Mid-American Conference program. That led to his job at Michigan State last year.

Jackson also spent six years working in the private sector, including two years partnering in an investment group with former Duke basketball players Brian Davis and Christian Laettner.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press