JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Nathaniel Hackett, who ran the Jaguars' offensive for the last two months of the 2016 season, was named offensive coordinator, the team announced Wednesday.
“After taking over as the play-caller in 2016, the offensive unit made a significant jump under the direction of Nathaniel Hackett,” said Tom Couglin, Jaguars just-hired executive vice president of football operations. “Nathaniel comes from a coaching family and is truly ardent about the game of football, which is contagious to his players and the assistants. He has a long history of working alongside Coach Marrone, and we are fortunate to have him on our coaching staff.”
Hackett, who was originally hired as the team’s quarterbacks coach on Jan. 29, 2015, was promoted to offensive coordinator on Oct. 27, 2016.
After taking over as the offensive coordinator and play-caller in Week 9, the Jaguars improved their rankings in a number of offensive categories under Hackett’s direction, including time of possession (30th to 13th), goal-to-go efficiency (15th to fourth) and red zone efficiency (16th to fifth). The Jaguars rushing attack made strides under Hackett’s control, improving from 30th (72.6) to fifth (124.8) in rushing yards per game, 26th (3.79) to 13th (4.35) in yards per rush and from 32nd (38) to first (112) in rushes of four-plus yards.
“We are excited to announce Nathaniel Hackett as our offensive coordinator and he will immediately be tasked with installing and implementing our offense this offseason,”Jaguars Coach Doug Marrone siaid. “I have had the pleasure of working with Nathaniel for seven consecutive seasons and know firsthand how knowledgeable and passionate he is about winning.”
The Jaguars offensive line unit was also much improved in 2016, giving 17 fewer sacks than 2015 and 37 fewer than in 2014, before Hackett and Marrone arrived in Jacksonville. The Jaguars finished the 2016 season with a 60 percent in the red zone, the franchise’s best mark in the past six seasons and the second-highest percentage since 2002.
Prior to joining the Jaguars, Hackett directed a Bills offense in 2014 that finished with an 86.0 passer rating, the highest for a Bills team since 2002. The Bills tallied 33 plays of 25-plus yards, the sixth-most in the NFL and most for a Bills team since 2000. Bills quarterbacks combined for only 13 interceptions, the third-fewest in franchise history, and rookie WR Sammy Watkins set team rookie records in 100-yard games (4), receiving yards (982) and receptions (65). QB Kyle Orton posted a career-best 64.2 completion percentage, the third-highest in franchise history, and an 87.8 passer rating (second-highest of his career).
In his first year as an NFL offensive coordinator in 2013, Hackett oversaw an offense that featured rookie QB E.J. Manuel and the running back duo of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. The Bills ranked second in the NFL and first in the AFC with a 144.2-yard rushing average while ranking second in the AFC with 56 rushes of 10-plus yards. The Bills led the NFL with a 95.5 percent red zone scoring mark. Manuel started 10 games and set franchise rookie records for passing touchdowns (11) and completions (180). Rookie WR Robert Woods ranked fifth among all rookies with 40 receptions for 587 yards and three touchdowns.
Hackett joined the Bills after three years at Syracuse working under Marrone. Hackett served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks/tight ends coach from 2011-12 after spending the 2010 season as quarterbacks/passing game/tight ends coach. Under his direction, the Orange set numerous records in 2012 including total offense (6,188 yards), yards per game (476.0), passing yards (3,757), touchdown passes (26), completions (295) and first downs (328). Syracuse featured a 3,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard rusher and 1,000-yard receiver in 2012 for the first time in school history while eclipsing 500-plus yards of offense in seven games. He tutored All-America QB Ryan Nassib, who finished his career with a school-record 9,190 passing yards, 791 completions and 1,312 attempts while ranking second with 70 touchdown passes.
Prior to joining Syracuse, Hackett served four seasons as an offensive quality control coach in the NFL. He spent two seasons each with Buffalo (2008-09) and Tampa Bay (2006-07). He began his coaching career at his alma mater, U.C. Davis, in 2003 where he served as assistant linebackers coach. He worked as an assistant to the offensive and defensive coordinators at Stanford from 2003-04. In December of 2004, he accepted the position of linebackers coach at Western Michigan, but returned to Stanford after he was hired as the specialists coach and recruiting coordinator.
Hackett was a four-year letterman at U.C. Davis, where he played linebacker and served as the team’s long snapper from 1999-2002. The Aggies reached the playoffs in each of his four seasons, finishing with a combined 41-9 record. He won the George Belenis Award in 1998 as the team’s Most Outstanding Redshirt and the “Aggie Pride” Award in 2002 as a senior. Hackett, the son of former NCAA and NFL coach Paul Hackett, was born on December 19, 1979 in Fullerton, Calif.. He is married to the former Megan Baumgartner and they have two sons, Harrison and London, and two daughters, Briar and Everly.