Savannah State tight end coach Donovan Jackson has been chosen to intern with the New York Jets during training camp this summer through the NFL’s Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship.
Jackson, who is entering his second season as a member of the SSU coaching staff, can be in camp with the Jets from July 25 through August 27 and will be housed at the team training camp hotel in Florham, New Jersey.
“I am excited and looking forward to learning at the NFL level and being able to improve myself as a coach,” Jackson said. “This opportunity also allows me to bring back valuable knowledge for the betterment of our SSU football program.”
Established in 1987, the program provides NFL training camp positions to minority coaches every year. The program, which was named after the man who conceived the idea – late Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Bill Walsh– exposes talented minority college coaches to the methods and philosophies of summer NFL training camps. Walsh introduced the concept to the league in 1987 when he brought a group of minority coaches into his San Francisco 49ers’ training camp.
The program’s objective is to use NFL Clubs’ training camps, off-season workout program and mini camps to give talented coaches opportunities to observe, participate, gain experience and ultimately gain a full-time NFL coaching position.
The program has tutored more than 1,800 minority coaches through the years and has grown to the point that now every NFL team participates during training camp.
In February, Jackson was one of 60 coaches selected to attend the 2016 NFL-NCAA Coaches Academy, which was held in Tampa, Florida, during the annual NFL and NCAA Summit.
The Winston-Salem, NC native was a four-year starter on the offensive and defensive lines at Norfolk State (2003-07) and was a team captain during the junior and senior years. After college, Jackson played on the professional level in the Arena League with the Laredo Lobos (2007) and Chicago Rush (2008).
Jackson earned his B.A. in psychology from Norfolk State in 2007 and his M.A. in teaching physical education from North Carolina A&T State University in 2012.