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Jackson obit by Korcek
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uiniu57 Offline
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Jackson obit by Korcek
From the Daily Chronicle

NIU assistant football coach, baseball star Bob Jackson dead at 68
By Mike Korcek

Robert “Bob” Jackson, the Jerry Pettibone-era assistant football coach who recruited Northern Illinois University’s prolific triple-option quarterback Stacey Robinson in the late 1980s and was a hard-hitting outfielder on the Huskies’ 1972 NCAA Tournament baseball team, passed away in Somerset, New Jersey at age 68 on Sunday.

Memorial services for Jackson are set for 1 p.m. Saturday (7-27) at the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, 771 Somerset St. in Somerset. Jackson suffered a mild stroke last spring before being moved to an assisted-living facility and then into a hospice situation.

Jackson served 11 seasons with Pettibone at NIU (1986-90) and Oregon State (1991-96). He tutored the Huskie receivers and handled the team’s academic coordinator’s duties. Jackson also coached on the Illinois and Rutgers football staffs before returning to the prep level and retirement.

“Robert was like a brother to me,” Pettibone said. “When we first came to NIU, (assistant) Pat Ruel was recruiting the south suburbs and met Robert at Thornwood High. It did not take long for Pat to convince me that Robert would be an invaluable asset to our staff. And, yes, he did recruit Stacey.”

A four-year letterman (1970-73) and two-time All-Midwestern Conference pick, Jackson produced a career .331 batting average. As a junior, he ranked 10th in the NCAA with a .426 batting mark on the 24-8 Northern Illinois nine that won the league title and gained the program’s first NCAA District Tournament bid in 1972. In 2008, the 1972 baseball squad was enshrined into the NIU Athletics Hall of Fame.

A 2001 inductee into the NIU Athletics Hall of Fame, Robinson rewrote the record books with seven NCAA FBS-level and 20 Huskie standards in his two years (1989-90) as a starter in the Huskie wishbone attack. Most memorable would be Robinson’s phenomenal 308-yards rushing and five touchdowns in the 73-18 victory over No. 24-rated Fresno State in 1990.

On NIU's first possession of the Fresno State game, the Bulldogs lined up in an eight-man front with the free safety 14 yards deep. Jackson noticed right away and told Pettibone. "They (FSU) can't do that. We will kill them with the option. There's no one on the quarterback," Jackson said. Offensive coordinator Mike Summers and Pettibone agreed, figuring to run Robinson until Fresno adjusted. It never did – and the rest was history – the most points ever scored vs. an AP Top 25 team.

On Facebook, tight end Claude Royster (1987-90) expressed an indelible memory of Jackson: “(I) never forgot how he would peek his head into my classrooms at NIU to ensure I was not only on time, but present.”

Former NIU head baseball coach Dave Mason had dual-sport memories of Jackson.

“At NIU home football games, I used to work on the chain gang and I suddenly realize that I’m standing next to Bobby on the sideline. Here’s one of our former student-athletes and now he’s coaching at the highest level of college football,” Mason said. “In baseball, Bobby was an instrumental part of one of the best teams in NIU history. He will be missed.”

Born in Chicago and raised in suburban Harvey, Jackson starred in football, wrestling, and baseball at Thornton Township High School. He received his bachelor of science in education degree from NIU in 1974.

Upon graduation, Jackson started his coaching career as a football aide at Thornwood (1974-82) before becoming head coach in 1983. He produced a 21-8-0 career won-lost-tie mark at THS and was voted the South Suburban Coach of the Year when the Thunderbirds finished 8-3-0, captured the SICA-East crown, and notched the school’s first state playoff victory in 1985.

Jackson is survived by his wife Jo Ann and sons Robert and Marc.

Too bad STF's administration doesn't recognize or reward Korcek's work in giving proper attention to NIU's history and Huskies past.
07-25-2019 10:24 PM
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Dog Fan Offline
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RE: Jackson obit by Korcek
Thanks for posting. And, I agree with your last statement. Korcek is way too knowledgeable and dedicated to be put out to the Huskie pasture. He should be employed in some way (historian? publicist?) by Athletics, but you're right, that will never happen under this current administration.
(This post was last modified: 07-26-2019 07:14 AM by Dog Fan.)
07-26-2019 07:13 AM
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Beach Boy Offline
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RE: Jackson obit by Korcek
(07-26-2019 07:13 AM)Dog Fan Wrote:  Thanks for posting. And, I agree with your last statement. Korcek is way too knowledgeable and dedicated to be put out to the Huskie pasture. He should be employed in some way (historian? publicist?) by Athletics, but you're right, that will never happen under this current administration.

He was Sports Information Emeritus following his retirement, then dropped from that post a few years ago. Perhaps he coud be reinstated in the future, but would he want it?
07-26-2019 09:05 AM
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NIU05 Offline
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RE: Jackson obit by Korcek
Beautiful article. I did not know Mr. Jackson, but he seems to have had a great career and left a solid legacy.
07-26-2019 10:20 AM
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HOF 08 Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Jackson obit by Korcek
I played with Bobby on that 1972 team. He was a good Huskie.
07-26-2019 11:07 AM
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chihuskie Offline
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RE: Jackson obit by Korcek
Rest in peace, Mr. Jackson.
07-31-2019 09:31 AM
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