Coach Andrew “A.J.” Jackson
Coach Andrew “AJ” Jackson, C.E.O. & President of A thru Z Youth & Fitness and CALISPEED, is a former NFL running back for the Houston Oilers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers who has successfully coached at the high school and college level for nearly 2 decades, including coaching for the National Football Academy as its lead RB coach. Today, through his company, Coach AJ offers a training program that helps football players at all positions get bigger, stronger and faster, working with numerous athletes, many of whom go on to successful collegiate and professional football careers.
A California native who grew up in Los Angeles, California, Coach AJ attended Manual Arts High School and played Varsity Football there for three years. Starting on both offense and defense, he received Best Offensive Back three years in a row and Most Valuable Player two years in a row, and he was selected All City and All American as a running back.
Earning a full scholarship to University of Southern California, he was New Comer of the Year on the U.S.C. football team in his freshman year. He transferred to El Camino City College, where he was selected All League Running Back and the team’s Most Valuable Offensive Back and graduated with an Associate of Arts Degree.
AJ next transferred to Iowa State University, where he majored in Business and played on the football team. Now a junior, he was selected Best Offensive Back and Best Newcomer to the team, and as a senior, he was voted team captain in addition to again being selected Best Offensive Back. He also earned an award for good conduct on and off the field.
After Iowa State, the Houston Oilers signed AJ as a free agent for the 1987 season. He finished the year as Houston’s second leading rusher behind Mike Rozier, the former Heisman Trophy winner. At the end of the year, the Oilers released him, and he was acquired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, playing several games for the Buccaneers until he was released in 1988.
For more than 16 years since completing his NFL career, AJ has been coaching and training. As lead RB coach with the National Football Academy (featuring Darin Slack of QBA), Coach AJ specialized in developing running backs for the NFA. ISSA Certified as a strength and speed trainer, he traveled the country, teaching the basics to youth running backs and the F4 (form, feet, fit, finish) system to advanced running backs.
In the 2009-2010 seasons, he served as the strength and conditioning coach for Verbum Dei High School’s football team, which became the 2009 League Champs under his training, and for the George Washington Preparatory High School girl’s varsity basketball team. Coach AJ also held the Athletic Director position at Animo South Los Angeles High School, leading the team to the title of first- year runner up in the small school championships two years in a row.
From 2010 to 2012, Coach AJ was Running Back Coach at East Texas Baptist University, where he helped guide RB Jair Stover and ETBU to back-to-back, 1000-yard-rushing seasons.
Since establishing A thru Z Youth & Fitness and CALISPEED, Coach AJ’s Training and Development System has guided numerous athletes to success in football and athletics.
Here are a few of the athletes currently or recently under Coach AJ’s expert guidance:
- Dwight Williams, LB, Serra H.S. 2014 – U.S. Army Player of The Year, UCLA commit
- Chase Blakely, TE/WR, Coeur d’Alene H.S. 2014, Boise State commi
- Ajene Harris, QB, Crenshaw H.S. 2014, USC commit
- Shay Fields, WR, St. John Bosco H.S. 2014, Colorado commit
- Nick Usher, DE, Junipero Serra H.S. 2013, UTEP
- Malcom Creer, RB, Palisades H.S. 2011, Colorado
- Shaq Richards, RB, Serra H.S. 2011, Portland State
- Dijon Washington, C/FS, Leuzinger H.S. 2009, Nebraska, Sacramento State – preparing for pro
- Charles Washington, SS, Crespi H.S. 2011, Fresno State
- Chris Clark, WR, Venice H.S. 2010, Syracuse – preparing for pro day!
- Mikey Smith, C, Northwestern H.S. 2014, U. Of Houston
- Victor Burnett, LB, Culver City H.S. 2010, Southern Illinois
- Jalen Jones, C, Serra H.S. 2014, USC
- Drew Berger, RB/LB, Coeur d’Alene H.S. 2015, Boise State
- Gunnar Amos, QB, Coeur d’Alene H.S. 2014, Idaho commit
- Kyle Knox, LB, Fresno State Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, CFL
- Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon (#1 in All Purpose yds at Oregon), now with Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles
- Mark Rogers RB, West Virginia, Cal Poly (BA Degree)
- Aristicus Forester OL Jackson State/Arizona State (BA Degree)
- Albert Russell, LB, Northern Alabama (BA Degree)
- Drew Thomas, DB, UTEP (BA Degree), St. Louis Rams
- Kiera Bostic, sprinter, Texas Southern
- Marcus Miller, FB, Texas Southern (BA Degree)
- Rafael Rice(BA Degree), RB, Illinois State
- Devraun Thompson(BA Degree), LB, Rutgers
- Chris Jacobs, 3rd base, Westchester H.S., drafted to Tampa Bay Devil Rays
- Austin Dotson WR & Kick Return, Sacramento St. – preparing for pro day!
- Jeremy McMillan RB, Boise State
- Kamala Correa, DE/OLB, Boise State, drafted 2nd round to Baltimore Ravens
- Elijhaa Penny RB, Idaho, Arizona Cardinals
- Ryan Edwards DT, Idaho
- Jabril Frazier DE, Boise State
- Ralph Harvey LB, U. of Houston