The former Green Bay Packers offensive co-ordinator is in his first year as the Denver Broncos head coach. The new HC has a famous dad in the NFL, while Nathaniel Hackett and his wife Megan share an interesting love of Star Wars.
The 42-year-old has been the Packers’ offensive co-ordinator for the past three years. Before that he was the Jaguars’ quarterbacks coach from 2015 to 2016 and offensive co-ordinator from 2016 to 2018. He was also the the Buffalo Bills’ offensive co-ordinator in 2013 and 2014.
The appointment is Hackett’s first job as a head coach in the NFL. Hackett took charge of the Broncos on the Monday Night Football game in Week 1 vs the Seattle Seahawks, losing 17-16.
Nathanial has a well-known dad
Fans have been curious about Hackett’s personal life, including who is dad is. If the name seems familiar, that’s because Nathaniel Hackett is the son of long-time NFL and college coach Paul Hackett. Both Hacketts began their coaching careers at UC-Davis, where the elder Hackett played quarterback in the late 1960s.
Paul went on to become head football coach at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Southern California before moving into the NFL. The elder Hackett was quarterbacks coach or offensive co-ordinator for the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders.
Interestingly, when Paul was with the Kansas City Chiefs, Nathanial Hackett was a ball boy for the team. According to reports, he even filled in as a long-snapper during drills.
Nathanial’s wife Megan and their mutual love of Star Wars
Nathanial Hackett and his wife Megan share a love of Star Wars and bonded over it during their early years together. In a feature for ESPN in 2016, Hackett revealed his wife used to live near Skywalker Ranch, which is filmmaker George Lucas’ movie ranch and workplace in Marin County, California.
Hackett was already a huge fan of the films, and grew up collecting boxes of Star Wars memorabilia. Star Wars references even crept into his playbook as a coach, with weekly PowerPoints during his time with the Jaguars often containing characters’ names such as Yoda and Skywalker, The Washington Post reports.
Saints quarterback Blake Bortles told ESPN: “He was trying to call something ‘Han Solo’. We changed the name to Sugar. Han Solo made zero sense.”
Hackett and his wife Megan have four children – sons Harrison and London, and daughters Briar and Everly. For Halloween in 2015, the family even dressed up as Star Wars characters, including Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Aaron Rodgers always knew Hackett would be a head coach
In terms of football, Hackett has always shown he has what it takes to become an NFL head coach. The Packers have scored at least 23 points per game and won 13 games in each of Hackett’s three seasons with the team, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers has always spoken highly of Nathanial.
“It’s understanding that every player has different motivators and everybody can respond differently to coaching, and figuring out what those buttons are on certain people to push to get the most out of them,” Rodgers told The Washington Post. “That’s what he does really well. He disarms guys and makes them feel really comfortable, and then he’s really good at teaching the game.
“I would hate to lose him, but I do feel like he would be a fantastic head coach.”
More recently, Rodgers praised Hackett’s credentials as a head coach on The Pat McAfee show. “This is a little overdue, to be honest,” Rodgers said. “He’s been around the game a long time. What he did in Jacksonville was pure magic, getting them within a quarter of the Super Bowl. He’s a great coach. I love spending time with him. He’s a fantastic teacher. He’s incredible in front of the room.”