Cornell Jackson took over as the Miners' running backs coach in 2013 after serving in the same capacity at Purdue over the previous four seasons.
The rushing attack hit 230-plus yards four times, including a season-most 384 yards on 40 attempts (14.6 avg.) against UNT. The Miners also rambled for 323 yards on 44 carries against Houston Baptist. The Miners opened the season with a 289-yard performance against rival NM State; added 237 yards at Florida Atlantic.The 2015 campaign saw multiple injuries to the backfield, but did feature highlights from Aaron Jones and other ball carriers. Jones tallied a 91-yard run for a score at Texas Tech, the longest in school history. Jones finished with 139 rushing yards – all in the first half against the Red Raiders before being lost to a season-ending injury.
Freshman T.K. Powell showed off his running talents, as he rattled off a career-high 124 yards against LA Tech on national television in the Sun Bowl. The Miners finished the night with 226 rushing yards against the Bulldogs.
In 2015, the Miners ran for a total of 1,761 yards on 447 attempts (3.9 avg.) and eight scores. The ball was spread around as eight players rushed for 130 or more yards during the campaign – Jeremiah Laufasa (381 yards) led the rushers, while LA Dowell ranked second with 276 yards. Jones (209), Kavika Johnson (209), Darrin Laufasa (183), Warren Redix (136), Powell (134) and Ryan Metz (130) rounded out the list. Dowell led the team with a pair of touchdown runs.
At NM State, UTEP rushed for a season-high 269 yards and found the end zone on a trio of occasions. D. Laufasa led the way with 85 yards on eight attempts, including a career-high 66-yard touchdown rush. Dowell rushed for 76 yards on 11 carries, including a 40-yard sprint to the end zone. Johnson chipped in with 40 yards against the Aggies. Metz also found the end zone on an eight-yard rush in the fourth quarter (1:19 remaining) that tied the game 44-44. The Orange and Blue won 50-47 in overtime.UTEP featured a lethal ground game during the 2014 season, compiling 200+ yards in seven contests and 300+ yards four times. Jones became the ninth player in school history to run for 1,000 yards in a season. The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award honorable mention honoree rated 24th in the FBS with 110.1 yards per game and went over the century mark six times in 2014, including a career-high 237 yards in the season opener versus New Mexico.
Far from a one-man show, UTEP received stellar contributions from Nathan Jeffery (531 yards), Josh Bell (256) and Autrey Golden (101) out of the backfield while racking up 27 rushing touchdowns as a team. Meanwhile Golden (31) and Jones (30) flashed their versatility by ranking 1-2 on the team in receptions.
During his first year at UTEP Jackson also coached Jones, who established himself as the top freshman rusher in school history. Jones tallied 811 yards in only nine games before his season was cut short due to injury. He was on pace to lead the nation in freshman rushing yardage before sustaining a blow to his ribs at North Texas on Nov. 9. Jones still compiled three 100-yard games en route to shattering the school freshman rushing record, which John Harvey had held for nearly 30 years. Jeffery went over the century mark in two of the last three games after Jones went down.
Jackson helped the Boilermakers land bowl bids during the 2011 and 2012 campaigns, participating in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl and the Heart of Dallas Bowl respectively.
In 2009, Purdue had the Big Ten's no. 3 rusher in Ralph Bolden, who averaged 77.9 yards per game. Bolden was a second team all-league choice after rushing for 935 yards, despite missing most of the season finale at Indiana due to injury. Bolden ran for a career-high 234 yards against Toledo, the third-best tally in school history.
In 2010, the Boilermakers tied the school record by compiling five consecutive games with 200+ yards rushing. Purdue amassed 100+ yards on the ground in 10 of 12 games.
The Boilermakers ranked 33rd nationally in rushing offense in 2011, averaging 181.6 yards per game. That was the highest total by a Purdue team in six years. Eight different players collected at least 100 yards on the season.
Purdue also racked up 22 rushing touchdowns in 2011. Akeem Shavers was appointed MVP of the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl after rushing 22 times for 149 yards in a 37-32 win over Western Michigan. For the year, Purdue rushers lost only three fumbles on 535 carries.
Jackson was on the Kansas State staff in 2008, coaching the linebackers. He has also coached the running backs at Arizona State (1996-99), Washington (2004), New Mexico (2005-06) and Baylor (2007).
Jackson's stint in Tempe produced five running backs that were chosen in the NFL Draft, including two (Terry Battle and J.R. Redmond) who garnered All-Pac 10 honors. The Sun Devils played in three bowl games during Jackson's tenure (1996 Rose, 1997 Sun, 1999 Aloha).
While at Washington, Jackson coached the linebackers (2002) and the safeties (2003) prior to taking over as running backs coach. He also added recruiting coordinator to his list of responsibilities in 2004. The Huskies played in the 2002 Sun Bowl.
In 2005, the Lobos' DonTrell Moore earned Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year honors after becoming just the sixth player in NCAA history to rush for 1,000 yards in four separate seasons. A year later, Jackson coached first team All-Mountain West Conference pick Rodney Ferguson, who rushed for 1,132 yards in leading the Lobos to the New Mexico Bowl. Jackson had two separate coaching stints at New Mexico, including coaching the linebackers in 1995.
In 2000 and 2001, Jackson coached the linebackers at Houston. Under his tutelage Wayne Rogers was named the Conference USA co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2000. He was also linebackers coach at Utah State (1990-91) and Pacific (1992-94).
Jackson began his career as running backs coach at Butler County (Kan.) Community College in 1987, then moved to Central Missouri State as a graduate assistant working with the defensive ends in 1988 and 1989. Jackson has taken part in four NFL internships - with the San Diego Chargers (linebackers) in 2004, Denver Broncos (running backs) in 2001, St. Louis Rams (running backs) in 1999 and Seattle Seahawks (linebackers) in 1993.
A native of Jackson, Miss., Jackson played defensive back at Hinds Junior College in 1982 and 1983 before moving on to Sterling (Kan.) College, where he was a two-time All-Conference defensive back. He earned his bachelor's degree in Health and Physical Education in 1986.
His wife's name is Lorri.
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