Hue Jackson Seeks to Make an Impact at Grambling State and Off The Field


Hue Jackson is a native of Los Angeles. The future NFL head coach of the Cleveland Browns was a quarterback at Dorsey High School and played basketball. In college, Jackson played quarterback at Pacific in the 80s. As a quarterback at the University of the Pacific from 1985 to 1986, Jackson threw for 2,544 yards and 19 touchdowns. Jackson was born to be within the game of football and led others. He is currently bringing back HBCUs to the forefront.

Hue Jackson named Grambling State Tigers' new head coach

Photo Cred: Cincinnati Enquirer

After college, he went straight into his coaching career. In 1987 he began coaching at his alma mater Pacific as a Graduate Assistant, wide receiver, running back & special team coach. Since starting his career three decades ago, Jackson has coached across the country. He has held several offensive jobs in college and NFL. In the NFL, he last served as a special assistant to the head coach for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2018. On April 15, 2021, Jackson joined Tennessee State University’s coaching staff as the offensive coordinator in 2021 under the new Eddie George. The Tigers finished with a 5-6 record and an average of 19.7 points per game for the 2021 season.

Hue Jackson named Grambling State Tigers' new head coach

Photo Cred: USA Today

Coach is now the head coach of Grambling State. It marks his first time serving as a head coach in college football. As HBCU football continues its resurgence on the national scene, head coaches with professional playing experience are impacting the sport. Ten current HBCU football head coaches played professionally before entering the coaching ranks.

Jackson didn’t play professionally but does have four years as an NFL head coach under his belt. He also has coached in the NFLPA Colligate Bowl. His connections run deep and connect HBCU players with NFL personnel. Professional experience from HBCU head coaches helps with player development. Who better to learn from than people who’s done it before?

Grambling State Routs Northwestern State - HBCU Legends

Photo Cred: SI

The coach has taken his wealth of knowledge of the NFL and football business into avenues outside the sport. Jackson has partnered with Grand Leyenda Tequila. It’s the only outright African American-owned Tequila company in the United States.

“I’ve taken the blueprint of coaching and teamwork to make this dream work. We’ve infused it into our business model. It’s all about the people you serve just like coaching. Find out what the customer needs and find a way to make it happen. Just like helping a player get better.”


The current CEO, Derrell Spann, has experience over his career. He has led in development, marketing programs, and general business solutions resulting in increased company exposure, customer traffic, and sales for several brands. Those brands include Beam Global Wines and Spirits, Brown Forman, Moet Hennessy, Remy Martin, Diageo, and Seagrams.

In November 2013, Mr. Spann first joined Grand Leyenda Tequila as president. Two years later, he purchased the brand outright from the original owner Jesus Santoyo. Santoyo would leave for other ventures. Grand Leyenda Tequilas are Estate Grown and follow a natural fermentation process.

“What made me want to get involved was Derrell Spann. At the time, he was the only black tequila owner in the world. He shared his vision, and it was what I wanted to hear.” Jackson said. “After tasting the brand, I was sold. As of today, four others in this space are Black owned now. The Rock, Michael Jordyn, LeBron James, P Diddy, and I hear Kevin Hart is launching soon. We would love to line our tequila up against any of them. It’s important to succeed because you want to be great at what you do. We’re chasing perfection.”

Grambling football shuts out Delta Devils

Photo Cred: The News Star

Jackson is chasing perfection in business and on the field. HBCU enrollment has been on the uptick for years. Students are realizing the importance of HBCUs and want to go home — and football and a faux savior have nothing to do with it. It may be a slow build, but Jackson is determined to bring back Grambling State as a football power!

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