Jashon Sykes is in his seventh year as a member of the football
staff, his second as the director of football operations, as he was promoted to
the position in January 2011. He is continuing his rise in administration,
as he spent the two years (2009-10) as the assistant operations director and
coordinator of football relations after working two years as the assistant
director of on-campus recruiting. He returned to his alma mater in August
2006 as an administrative assistant, working in recruiting and operations,
after retiring from professional football.
Sykes, 33, is responsible for overseeing all of the day-to-day
operations duties for the Colorado football program, including team travel, scheduling, developing and
monitoring the football program's budget, team events and activities and
serving as the director of the one-day "Elite" high school summer camp. He is
also a part of the CU Athletics Leadership Committee.
Sykes spent the four years prior to his return to Boulder in the
National Football League, signing on as a free agent with the Denver Broncos after
his CU career and was on the team's practice squad for the 2002 season.
He was a member of the team the next two years, starting 11 games at linebacker
in 2003 (including a playoff game at Indianapolis), as he had 65 tackles, two
fumble recoveries and a blocked punt for the NFL's fourth-ranked defense.
He ended his career with the Washington Redskins in 2006.
He interned with the Broncos during the 2007 and '08 training
camps. In 2007, he worked with the linebackers as an intern; a year
later, he had dual roles working with the operations department, and assisting with
the defensive line.
At Colorado, he finished his career 10th all-time in tackles
(330), tied for 16th in quarterback sacks (12½), tied for 12th in tackles for
loss (33) and tied for fifth in forced fumbles (7). All of his forced fumbles came in his
sophomore season (1999), which led the nation and is a school record for the
most in a season. Interestingly, he has had 14 tackles each time out in
three games versus Nebraska for 42 of those 330. As a senior in 2001, he
started the first four games of the season, but a herniated disc and subsequent
operation ended his season. He decided to forego pursuing a medical
redshirt and declared for the NFL draft. He had been on the official
watch lists for both the Butkus and Lombardi awards.
As a junior (2000), he earned honorable mention all-Big12 honors
as he had 111 tackles (78 solo), 13 third down stops, three-and-a-half sacks,
four hurries, two pass deflections and interception. He had at least
seven tackles in all 11 games, and hit double figures eight times. His
sophomore season, he blossomed into one of the nation's top linebackers at CU's
new defensive position, "hawk" linebacker, one of two inside
positions in the CU scheme. He earned defensive MVP honors in the
Insight.com Bowl, when he had nine tackled and returned an interception for a
touchdown against Boston College. He earned second-team All-America
honors from the Football News, with the Associated Press selecting him
first-team All-Big 12. He was selected by his teammates as the Zack Jordan
Award winner as CU's most valuable player, and he also won the Dave Jones Award
for the most outstanding defensive player as presented by the coaching staff.
He led the team and was second in the Big 12 in tackles with 134
(including 82 solo), just the fifth sophomore to lead the Buffs since tackles
started being tracked in 1965. He forced seven fumbles, which not only
set a school record, but led the nation as well.
He developed rapidly his true freshman year, as he played in all
12 games and started four of the last five, including the Aloha Bowl. He
finished seventh on the team in tackles with 52 (31 solo), with 28 in the last
four regular season games including 14 at Nebraska; the 52 tackles were the
most ever by a true freshman at the time. He was a co-winner of the Lee
Willard Award, presented by the coaching staff to the most outstanding
freshmen, and The Sporting News selected him as a first-team freshman
As a high school senior at Serra (Los Angeles), he earned a host
of All-America honors, and received the maximum 10 votes in being names to the
prestigious Long Beach Press-Telegram's Best-In-West team. He also
lettered three times in tracks (sprints) and once in basketball.
September 25, 1979 in Los Angeles, Calif., he graduated with a degree in Ethnic
Studies from CU in 2002. He is married to his high school sweetheart, the
former Qiana Turner, and the couple has two daughters, Joslyn (8) and Autumn (5),
and one son, Semien (2). As a player, he played with a small bible on the
left side of his football pants. It was given to him from his grandmother
on her deathbed before he watched her take her last breath, and he would think
about her and that situation before every game.