Born in San Francisco, Tim Jackson grew up in San Jose. He graduated from Archbishop Mitty High School, where he played football, and went onto San Jose City College. Jackson transferred to San Jose State University upon receiving a football scholarship from the school.
“College was a great experience for me," comments Jackson. "Any high school students that I deal with, I tell them 'Hey, go to college. Some of your best years, best experiences, and best friends for life are going to be in college.'”
“I was at San Jose State from 1986 to 1989," recalls Jackson. "I played there for three seasons, we had a lot of success there. We went to two California Bowl games. The football experience, the athletic experience was awesome.”
Graduating with a BS in Advertising, Jackson decided to pursue law enforcement: "I couldn’t really picture myself sitting behind a desk, pitching ad space. My brother (Curtis Jackson) was an officer in the SJPD. He said, ‘Why don’t you take the test here.' I looked into the SJPD, and after checking the benefits and things like that, I said, ‘Man, this is not a bad career.' I ended up taking the test, passing everything and getting hired ... and here I am. Great place, it’s been a great ride."
Bridging sports with his SJPD career, Jackson participated in a coaching program at San Jose High Academy (SJHA), the oldest high school in San Jose, organized by Sergeant Jason Pierce.
Pierce was a SJHA alumni and heard that the school lost its coaching staff due to an internal dispute. An avid athlete like Jackson, Sergeant Pierce could not stand to see his alma mater without team sports. So, on his own time, Pierce took over the head coaching job for the SJHA football team. Faced with a task that was too much for one person, Sergeant Pierce enlisted the help of other SJPD officers who played college football. This included Officers Vernon Todd, Duc Ngo and Jackson. Former SJPD Sergeants Jason Woodall and Glenn Harper also helped with the coaching.