Bobby Jackson’s freshman and sophomore experiences on the Palm Springs High School football field involved playing drums in the school band, not throwing a pigskin. Much to the young man’s chagrin, Bobby’s mother feared for his safety and refused to let him play until he was a junior. Once he started playing, however, there was no stopping him. He was selected for the All Riverside County High School Football Team in 1957 and played in the East-West High School All Star Game as well as the High School All Star Games in Washington, D.C. and Tucson, Arizona. In addition to football, Bobby lettered in basketball and track, and was named Best Athlete in his senior year of high school.
An outstanding running back at RCC in the late 1950’s, Bobby played on the undefeated Eastern Conference Champions and earned All Eastern Conference Honors and All American Junior College Honors in 1959. Transferring to New Mexico State University, he led his team to the 1960 Sun Bowl Championship. In 1962, he was drafted by the American Football League’s San Diego Chargers in the seventh round, and in 1963 he played on the AFL championship team. Bobby also played for the Oakland Raiders, the Houston Oilers and the New Orleans Saints and after two knee surgeries, he returned to Riverside in 1967 as an instructor and football coach at California School for the Deaf.
Bobby Jackson retired from CSDR after 34 years of service and now resides in Moreno Valley with his wife Zeta and two sons, Brandon and Bryan. Daughters Rebecca and Susie live close enough to visit often. His mother, Ophelia G. Crawford is now 94.