Vincent Jackson achieved greatness on the football field and in his community. The UNC Athletics Hall of Famer passed away on February 15, 2021, but left a legacy that will last for lifetimes.
“I am heartbroken about the death of Vincent Jackson,” said Northern Colorado Director of Athletics Darren Dunn. “The entire Athletic Department and I send our deepest condolences to Lindsey (Jackson’s wife) and their children, and his parents, Terence and Sherry Jackson. Vincent was truly a great person and a proud ambassador for the University of Northern Colorado. His impact will always be felt throughout our athletic department. He will be dearly missed but not forgotten.”
The numbers say it all for arguably the best football player in Northern Colorado history. Jackson was the career leader in yards (3,548) and touchdowns (37). He is one of only two players in program history to have two 1,000 yards receiving seasons, holding the top two single-season spots. He also played basketball for two seasons at UNC, leading the team in scoring both years.
“I am deeply saddened by the news of VJ’s passing,” said Reed Doughty, former roommate and fellow member of the 2011 UNC Hall of Fame Class. “Vince and I met at a Colorado School of Mines football recruiting visit. On that visit, we both decided to go to UNC and room together. He was a great resource for me when I had similar opportunities in the NFL Combine and Draft in 2006 after he had been drafted in 2005. We were inducted into the Northern Colorado Hall of Fame in 2011. It was a special evening for me. Even though he was eligible a year earlier than I was, he wanted to wait so we could go in together.”
After being drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 2005 NFL Draft, Jackson went on to a 12-year NFL career. He was selected to three Pro Bowls accumulating over 9,000 receiving yards and 57 touchdowns.
“Vincent Jackson was blessed with great football skills and a compassionate heart,” said current Bears head football coach Ed McCaffrey. “He used those skills to great success on and off the field. Here at Northern Colorado, we are grieving his loss and honoring the life he led. Sending peace and strength to his wife Lindsey and his family.”
If Jackson’s illustrious career on the field made him well-known, it is his work off the field that made his lasting legacy. He started the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation to provide support to military families, focusing on the educational, emotional and physical health of military children. Through his charitable works, he helped thousands in the Tampa Bay Area.
Read more on Vincent Jackson from UNC Magazine Fall 2018: