Eric Jackson joined the Lewis & Clark program as the defensive coordinator in 2014 and enters his sixth season with the Pios in 2019.
At the end of the 2017 season, the Pioneers had their first All-Northwest Conference First-Team selection (defensive end Andrew Werst) since 2013 and the first non-quarterback to earn the recognition since 2011. Werst repeated as an All-NWC First-Team pick in 2018, giving the Pios their first back-to-back first-team selections since quarterback Keith Welch did so in 2011 and 2013. Over the 2017 and 2018 seasons, Lewis & Clark has repeated with its most All-NWC picks since 2013 including nine defensive selections. Following the 2017 season, defensive end Cameron Chang was selected NWC Freshman of the Year.
Jackson has been a college coach for over 30 years. Prior to Lewis & Clark, Jackson was the defensive coordinator at Portland State, organizing one of the biggest turnarounds in FCS football. Under Jackson, Portland State’s defense improved by leading the conference in rushing and third-down defense. Jackson coached All-Big Sky performers DeShawn Shead, Ryan Rau, Ian Sluss and Myles Wade. Shead was a member of the 2014 Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl championship team. Rau and Wade had stints with the Carolina Panthers and Oakland Raiders, respectively.
Prior to Portland State, Jackson coached at Princeton from 2000-10, helping the Tigers to the 2006 Ivy League Championship. There, he tutored the defensive backfield and was also the special teams coordinator. Jackson recruited and coached several players who played professionally, including the 2013 Asa Bushnell Cup winner, Mike Catapano, now with the New York Jets, and 2014 Asa Bushnell Cup runner-up, Caraun Reid, who was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2014.
Other stops for Jackson include Division III power Ithaca College, where he helped the Bombers to two playoff berths and a combined record of 15-4. Jackson also coached at Cornell University and Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, where he coached against former Lewis & Clark head coach Chris Sulages.
Jackson has coached in three Bill Walsh Minority Internships, twice with the Detroit Lions (1994-95) as well as the Carolina Panthers in 1998.
In 1993, Jackson coached at University of Idaho, helping the Vandals to an 11-3 record and a national semifinal playoff game. Prior to Idaho, Jackson coached at Division III Alma College for two seasons and Cornell, helping the Big Red to the 1990 Ivy League Championship. Jackson began his college career at the University of Cincinnati.
A native of Ann Arbor, Mich. and a graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Jackson played defensive back and received his Bachelor's Degree in History, with a minor in African American Studies and Earth Science. Very active in the community, Jackson founded the Princeton Football Women’s Clinic for Breast Cancer research in 2002, the first clinic of its kind in the east. Jackson organized the Portland State alumni football game and also founded his business, Coach J, Academic Coach, LLC, helping high school athletes meet the NCAA academic requirements.