Widely regarded as one of the greatest offensive linemen in NFL history with a 20-year professional career and induction to the NFL Hall of Fame, Azusa Pacific offensive line coach Jackie Slater is one of the nation's finest teachers of the craft he mastered for two decades in the NFL for the Los Angeles and St. Louis Rams.
Slater is entering his fifth season coaching Azusa Pacific's offensive line, which is his first coaching assignment at the four-year collegiate level. His involvement in the development of 6-foot-9, 322-pound offensive tackle Luke Marquardt helped lead to an NFL free agent contract with the San Francisco 49ers for Marquardt. Following the 2014 season, another Cougar lineman took a step towards an NFL career when 6-foot-6, 305-pound right tackle Cody Clay was invited to participate in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. Clay signed a post-draft NFL free agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons, and he was later signed by the Dallas Cowboys prior to the 2015 training camp.
Slater's impact on the Cougar offense was immediately evident upon his arrival for the 2012 season. That year, the Cougar offensive line led the way for the most productive single season of rushing offense in program history, leading to a 9-3 campaign and Azusa Pacific's first playoff victory since 2004. In the four years since his arrival, the Cougar offense is averaging over 400 yards per game, including a rushing average of 243 yards per game.
As a player, Slater is tied for third all time for the most NFL seasons played, and his 259 regular-season games played were the most ever by an offensive lineman when he retired. His 20 seasons with one team was also an NFL record. Slater played in a Rams franchise-record 18 NFL postseason games, including Super Bowl XIV, and he was a seven-time Pro Bowler. He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame Class of 2001.
Slater played his college football at Jackson State University in Mississippi, where he played alongside Walter Payton for his first three years. Following his All-American senior year, Slater was selected in the third round of the 1976 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams.
Following his retirement from the NFL, Slater worked for nearly a decade as a football analyst, covering the NFL for Fox, ESPN, and Los Angeles-based KABC-TV.
Slater coached for one year in the NFL, serving as co-offensive line coach for the Oakland Raiders in 2006. He spent two years (2008-09) coaching offensive line at Saddleback College, then spent the 2010 season coaching offensive line at El Modena HS before joining Azusa Pacific in the spring of 2011.
Slater and his wife Annie have two sons, Matthew and David. Matthew, who played collegiately at UCLA, is the special teams captain of the Super Bowl XLIX champion New England Patriots, earning his fourth Pro Bowl selection in his six-year career. Slater and his son's 11 combined nominations to the Pro Bowl makes the Slater family the second most nominated family in the NFL, trailing only the Archie, Eli, and Peyton Manning with more Pro Bowl nominations as a family.
During his first three years of coaching, Slater was also an Azusa Pacific student, working on a Master's degree in Leadership which he completed in 2014.