Purdue hires Jackson to coach running backs

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Cornell Jackson has been hired as Purdue's running backs coach, the team announced Sunday night.

Jackson coached linebackers at Kansas State in 2008, but the majority of his career has been spent with running backs. He tutored backs at Baylor (2007), New Mexico (2005-06), Washington (2004) and Arizona State (1996-99). Former New Mexico stars Rodney Ferguson and DonTrell Moore are among the players Jackson coached.

"Cornell is a great addition to our staff," Purdue head coach Danny Hope said in a statement. "He comes highly recommended and has coached in some big-time conferences. He's an aggressive coach and an excellent recruiter. He preaches ball security, physical running and finishing each play. We really hit the jackpot with him."

Jackson replaces Joel Thomas, who recently left to become running backs coach at Washington. The 48-year-old takes over a group that loses top rusher Kory Sheets but returns Jaycen Taylor, a key contributor in 2006 and 2007 who tore his ACL in preseason camp in August.

Hope is still looking for a defensive coordinator to round out his coaching staff after Brock Spack left to become Illinois State's head coach.