The Power of Influence: FamF1rst

Tennyson High School, Hayward, CA, varsity football, and basketball coach Anthony (AJ) Jackson is a resource for his Bay Area communities and all young people in need of help.

Coach Jackson works primarily in the East Bay community as a Dropout Prevention Coordinator at Cal-State East Bay located in the Hayward Hills but that’s just his day job. Jackson is the CEO of Athlete Services.

Jackson, a self-described resource for the Fam 1st Family Foundation founded by Marshawn Lynch, Josh Johnson, and Marcus Peters. The goal is empowerment and education of underprivileged youth and giving back to the city of Oakland and in general. “We decided this is for them. It’s a reminder, a value system, we used to say we put our family first do you?”

About FamF1rst

FamF1rst Athlete Services specializes in helping young men and women make the transition from high school to college. Founded in 2007, Jackson has coached 13 professional athletes and mentored 30+ more. Some of the more famous clientele he has coached includes:

  • Andre “SOG” Ward
  • Adrian Ward- 2005 7th-round draft pick Minnesota Vikings
  • Joshua Ferguson- AFL All-Star
  • Raysean Pringle- Detroit Lions-current
  • Anthony Shavies- former International Basketball
  • Samora Goodson- AFL
  • Troy Evans- IFL/AFL

And those he has mentored include:

  • Tyvon Branch
  • Johnnie Leee Higgins
  • Jahvid Best
  • DeSean Jackson
  • Geoff MacArthur
  • Lavelle Hawkins
  • Robert Jordan
  • Johnny Holland
  • Has done some work with rookie Arden Key

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What Athlete Services Offers

Jackson provides a few essential basic services for the young athletes of tomorrow and the youth of today. Marketing to colleges via newsletters, highlight tapes, and overall profile marketing. If you want to play he will find you a college from Division 1 to NAIA.

Individual training. Peak performance is a must for anyone seeking to get to the next level and Jackson will help get you right. Anywhere from footwork, technique, speed, hand-eye, strength, and development to athletic IQ. Jackson has worked with athletes in multiple sports and has produced champions and peak performers in every competitive arena.

Life coaching/ Life Ball, perhaps the most important of all the services. “Trying to condition the mind for the current and future, as well as conditioning the body for the current and the future,” Jackson feels the strongest about this aspect of what he does. Candi Jackson, his wife, and partner offered this endorsement “He’s non-stop! All of the kids he coaches are his family. He treats everyone like family.”

Coach Jack himself 

“Coach Jack” as he is affectionately referred to by his players old and new, has been coaching football and basketball for 18 years. He’s coached college football at Chabot, Laney, and Contra Costa as well as Hayward and currently his alma mater Tennyson High School.

Jackson understands these kids because he knows and fully comprehends the struggles they face and he cares. “I feel like no young person should feel helpless. I mean that in the most generic sense of the words. No young person around me should be without help. Ask anyone they will tell you I was always there. The power of influence.”

Jackson invests himself into each and every person around him because he was once one of them. A standout WR/DB at Tennyson High School he was a first team all-league wide receiver and defensive back in 1994. Jackson was all heart but not of the prototypical size and was passed over by the major colleges and instead elected the popular junior college route.

At Chabot College, he was a star and a standout garnering All-State recognition as a sophomore. He made “the best catch in school history” a juggling catch before tip-toeing the sideline to complete it. Recently, he was nominated for the school Hall of Fame and made it a point to let me know that when he gets in he won’t be pulling a T.O.

Transfering to Missouri-Western State in the summer of 1997 Jackson would earn the starting job and start five games before his first poor performance earned him an all-expense paid trip to the bench. “I learned you were ‘on the clock when on the field’ and ‘it’s eat or be eaten’.”

Adversity engulfed him a 22-year-old man without much scholastic guidance at one point he was told by a former elementary education instructor “I was taking a spot from someone who wanted to teach.” Life has a nasty habit of kicking you in the testicles and you can go down and stay there or get back up. But at that moment Jackson found his calling and his dream job working with kids and a life of service to others.

Since 2007 Jackson has made a positive impact in the lives of many underprivileged youths. He’s been such an inspiration to people he doesn’t believe he could reach. He told a story about how he was at one of the many camps that he has done when Phillip Rivers of the then San Diego Chargers confessed Jackson was doing his dream job. He (Rivers) wants to be a High School football coach and coach his son’s football teams just like his father before him.

“Coach Jack” would have me leave you with these parting words of wisdom “when you try and help others I feel like others will help you.”

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