As a player, Jackson spent three years as a quarterback at Northern Illinois and finished his collegiate career as a wide receiver at Western Illinois. He later played for the Cleveland Browns from 2002-06.
“I am very excited to bring one of NIU’s former greats back as a member of our offensive staff,” Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren said in a statement. “I know Fris will be a huge asset, not only as a coach but as a mentor to our players. With his background as a recruiter in Chicago and as a player in the NFL, he brings great experience.”
Jackson was also excited to return to Northern Illinois.
“To come back now and see what this program has become and what the team has achieved under Joe Novak, Jerry Kill and Dave Doeren is awesome and I’m excited to be a part of it,” Jackson said in a statement. “Being able to come back to Illinois, where I grew up, spent most of my life and learned the game of football, is special for me and my family. I’ll be back in the area I’m most familiar with as far as recruiting and connecting with high school coaches, and I get to stay in the MAC. The league has some great coaches and there is an exciting brand of football being played in the Mid-American Conference.”