Courtney CroninESPN Staff WriterClose
- Covered the 49ers, Raiders and Warriors for the San Jose Mercury News. She joined ESPN in 2017.
A Tennessee State spokesperson confirmed Jackson’s death to ESPN. Jackson was the Tigers’ quarterbacks coach in 2019 after spending a year as a quality control and quarterbacks coach at his alma mater, Alabama State.
According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Jackson was involved in a single-vehicle crash at 8:50 p.m. Sunday; the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro he was driving left the roadway, struck a tree and then overturned. Jackson was transported to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
The crash occurred about 7 miles south of Jackson’s hometown of Montgomery, Alabama.
Jackson is survived by his wife, Lakitta, and three children, Tarvaris, Takayla and Tyson.
“My heart is so heavy with hurt hearing of the passing of Coach Jackson,” said Tennessee State director of athletics Teresa Phillips. “We were blessed with him for a short time but he did make an impact with our young men in this one season at TSU. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his young family and all who knew and loved him.”
Several of Jackson’s former NFL teammates and coaches took to Twitter after hearing the news of his death.
TJack… you will be missed. Praying for your family…Love you man. 💔
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) April 13, 2020
Tarvaris Jackson was a beloved teammate, competitor, and Seahawk. He will be deeply missed. So heartbroken by the news of his passing and sending our condolences to his family and friends. We love you forever @7tjackson
— Pete Carroll (@PeteCarroll) April 13, 2020
— Chad Greenway (@chadgreenway52) April 13, 2020
Jackson’s 10-year NFL career began in Minnesota when he was drafted 64th overall in 2006. He started 21 regular-season and playoff games for the Vikings but was a backup for most of his five seasons in Minnesota. The 6-foot-2 quarterback helped the Vikings win the NFC North title in 2008 before his sole postseason appearance, a wild-card loss to Philadelphia.
The Vikings expressed their condolences in a team statement on Monday.
“The entire Vikings family is saddened by the news of Tarvaris Jackson being taken from us too soon. One of Tarvaris’ greatest attributes was his positive outlook and approach. He genuinely cared about others, was a good friend and will be missed by family, teammates and Vikings fans everywhere. We send our deepest condolences to his family.”
Jackson ended his time in Minnesota as Brett Favre‘s backup for the 2009-10 seasons. Favre remembered Jackson as “pure class.”
“My time with the Vikings was very special because the team embraced and welcomed me as one of their own. Tarvaris could have been anything but welcoming, but [instead he] was pure class and as good a teammate as any I’ve played with,” Favre said in a statement. “[I’m] proud to call him friend!! Such sad news.”
Jackson signed with Seattle as a free agent in 2011 and won over the Seahawks’ locker room during his lone season as a starter by playing through a partially torn pectoral muscle on his throwing side. He compiled a 7-7 record as a starter before being traded to Buffalo ahead of the 2012 season. He did not register a snap with the Bills.
Jackson returned to Seattle in 2013 and was Russell Wilson‘s backup in the Seahawks’ Super Bowl XLVIII victory over the Denver Broncos.