Golden Nuggets: Hue Jackson Calls Cal "A Golden Opportunity"

Thearon W. Henderson

Hue would love to coach the Bears. Would we love to have him as a coach?

Hue Jackson spoke with Faraudo about the head coaching vacancy at Cal. He has not been contacted but would welcome a phone call.

"I think they can be as good as they want to be," Jackson told this newspaper Tuesday in a phone interview. "They should have an opportunity to compete for the Pac-12 championship, BCS bowls, the national championship. Why not Cal?"

Jackson, 47, was offensive coordinator at Cal in 1996. Currently coaching defensive backs and special teams for the Cincinnati Bengals, Jackson led the Raiders to an 8-8 record in 2011, his only as head coach in Oakland. He was the Raiders' offensive coordinator in 2010.

He stressed that he has not heard from anyone at Cal, but would welcome a call. "I'm sure I would. I see no reason not to," he said.

He spoke at length about how excited he would be to recruit at Cal.

"In the National Football League you still have free agency, which is like recruiting. It's not totally the same, but there a lot of parallels," he said.

Jackson also is confident that the renovated Memorial Stadium and year-old high-performance center will help them attract top-level prospects.

"I know they've done a tremendous upgrade. It's a place you can recruit to," he said.

Jackson spent the '96 season at Cal, working under coach Steve Mariucci on a team that featured quarterback Pat Barnes and tight end Tony Gonzalez. The Bears started 5-0, including a road win over 17th-ranked USC, then wound up 6-6 before Mariucci left to become coach of the 49ers.

"I know from my time there it's a special place," Jackson said. "It was a lot of fun and it was an environment where a student-athlete could go an get an unbelievable education while competing at the highest level you could.

"There was a sense they were very interested in Cal being among the elite teams in all of college football."

He's obviously excited about the position. We'll have to wait and see if the search committee is equally excited about contacting him.

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