VALDOSTA, Ga. — Valdosta State Director of Athletics Herb Reinhard announced Monday Tremaine Jackson as the 11th head football coach in Blazer history. Jackson comes to Titletown from Colorado Mesa University where he was the head coach the past two seasons. There will be an official introductory press conference for Jackson on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, at 2 p.m. in arena of The Complex.
“I am honored and humbled to be named the Head Football Coach at Valdosta State University,” Jackson said. “I’d like to thank Athletic Director Mr. Reinhard and President Carvajal for the opportunity to lead the Blazer football program. It is my intent to continue and enhance the storied tradition of Blazer football for many years to come. I cannot wait to get to Titletown USA to meet the local community and begin our work on the 2022 season! There are three main things that attracted me to Valdosta State, (1) the history, tradition and brand of VSU football, (2) the chance to compete on the national stage every year, (3) the chance to be coached by a seasoned Athletic Director like Mr. Reinhard.”
During Jackson’s tenure at Colorado Mesa, he went 10-3 in his two seasons, including 8-2 this season and posted a thrilling 26-21 victory over then-No. 3-ranked Colorado School of Mines on Oct. 23, 2021, for Homecoming. It was the Mavericks’ first victory over a top 5 opponent since they became an NCAA Division II school in 1994. Jackson’s squad went 2-1 in the spring of 2021 during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The 2021 fall edition of the Mavericks finished 13th nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 15.6 points per game, while the team was 34th nationally in scoring offense at 33.7 points per game. CMU finished in the top 20 nationally in both total defense (10th – 258.2 ypg) and total offense (16th – 452.0 ypg). Jackson coached two Academic All-America players this season and one AFCA Second Team All-America honoree, along with 21 All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) performers, including RMAC Offensive Freshman of the Year in Karst Hunter.
“I am very excited to have Tremaine join our Blazer family,” Reinhard said. “The football programs he has been associated with have had great success on the field. His Colorado Mesa team put lots of points on the board and was very stingy on defense. Tremaine also has an impressive track record of his teams excelling in the classroom and playing a prominent role in the community. I look forward to the work he will do with our young men.”
Prior to Colorado Mesa, Jackson was the defensive line coach at Texas State and before that served as defensive coordinator at Abilene Christian (2017-18). Jackson is well versed in NCAA Division II as he served as assistant head coach at the University of Sioux Falls helping lead the Cougars to a combined 32-5 record in four seasons. During his time there, he helped guide the team to a 2016 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Championship and post-season appearances in all three years after being promoted to the Cougars' defensive coordinator (2014-16). He began at USF as defensive line coach in 2013.
The Cougars went 12-1 in 2016 as they won their first ever NCAA playoff game. Jackson guided 11 defensive players to All-NSIC honors while his unit led the conference in four defensive categories. They were also ranked fifth in the national poll.
In 2015, they went 9-3 and earned the program's first Division II playoff berth to go along with a No. 21 national ranking. USF went 11-1 and ranked 18th nationally in 2014. Promoted to the role of assistant head coach after those two seasons, he had coached seven defensive players to All-NSIC honors and a back-to-back AFCA First Team All-America Defensive Back in Solomon St. Pierre in both 2014 and 2015.
At Abilene Christian, Jackson led one of the biggest defensive turnarounds in the country as the Wildcats recorded their first winning season in their Division I history in 2018 (6-5). After they were ranked last in the country prior to his arrival, Jackson's defensive unit ranked amongst the nation's top 25 in five different team categories in 2018 after leading the Southland Conference in pass defense in 2017.
Earlier in his coaching career, Jackson also had stops at Evangel University, Texas Southern and Trinity Valley Community College after beginning his coaching career at Texas A&M University-Kingsville in 2006 as the Javelinas' defensive line coach.
At Texas Southern, where he served from 2008-11, he helped the Tigers win a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) title in 2010 as the program led the country (FCS) in total defense, sacks and tackles for a loss. They also led the country in total defense in 2011 in his lone season as the Tigers' defensive coordinator.
Jackson also held NFL internships with the Houston Texans and San Diego Chargers and has served on several AFCA Committees.
A former player, Jackson played on the defensive line at Texas Southern for two years after transferring from the University of Louisiana-Monroe.
Tremaine has a daughter Harmony and is a 2006 graduate of the University of Houston, where he obtained a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies.