A veteran of 44 years of coaching, Jerry Sullivan has served the past four seasons as the wide receivers coach for the Jaguars. Sullivan has 23 years of NFL coaching experience and 21 at the collegiate level.
Sullivan has coached several Pro Bowl receivers in his career, including the San Diego Chargers’ Anthony Miller (1992-93) and Tony Martin (1996), Detroit Lions’ Herman Moore (1997-98) and Germaine Crowell (1999), Arizona Cardinals’ David Boston (2001) and Anquan Boldin (2003); and the Jaguars’ Allen Robinson (2015)
Sullivan oversaw a receiving corps that had a breakout season in 2015. Second-year WR Allen Robinson earned his first career Pro Bowl after posting 80 receptions for 1,400 receiving yards and a franchise-record 14 receiving touchdowns. Robinson tied Doug Gladbwin and Brandon Marshall for the NFL lead in receiving touchdowns, while also setting the Jaguars single-season records in receiving average (17.5, min. 60 receptions) and 20-plus-yard receptions (31). He became one of just four NFL players since the 1970 merger to record 1,400-plus receiving yards, 14-plus receiving touchdowns and 17.5-plus yards per reception in a single season, joining Calvin Johnson in 2011, Randy Moss in 2000 and Jerry Rice in 1986.
Sullivan also aided the development of second-year WR Allen Hurns. Hurns posted career highs with 64 receptions, 1,031 receiving yards and 10 receiving touchdowns en route to becoming the youngest undrafted player since the 1970 NFL merger to post 1,000plus receiving yards and 10plus receiving TDs in a single season. From Week 3-10, Hurns caught a pass in seven consecutive games, the longest streak in Jaguars history and the longest such streak since Wes Welker (eight games) with New England/Denver.
Together, Hurns and Robinson became the first due to each record at least 1,000 receiving yards since Jimmy Smith and Kennan McCardell achieved the feat in 2001.
In 2014, Sullivan oversaw a group of young wideouts that included three rookies in Marqise Lee (37-422, 1 TD), Allen Robinson (48-548, 2 TDs) and Allen Hurns (51-677, 6 TDs). Hurns and Robinson became the first rookie duo in NFL history to register 48 or more receptions in a season, and Hurns’ six receiving touchdowns were the most by a rookie in franchise history.
In his second season with the Jaguars, Sullivan oversaw a receiving corps that saw six different players earn starts. The unit was led by third-year pro Cecil Shorts who caught a career-high 66 passes for 777 yards and three touchdowns. 2013 fourth-round pick Ace Sanders finished the season with 51 catches, the second-most by a rookie in team history (Justin Blackmon had 64 receptions in 2012) and the third-most by an NFL rookie in 2013. Four different receivers (Sanders, Jeremy Ebert, Mike Brown, Lamaar Thomas) made their first career reception in 2013.
Sullivan tutored a Jaguars wideout unit in 2012 that improved throughout the season. Shorts (55-979, 7 TDs) and Blackmon (64-865, 5 TDs) became the first Jaguars receiver duo since 2001 to have 800-plus receiving yards. Blackmon led all NFL rookies in receiving yards and tied for the most receptions while setting franchise single-season rookie records for catches, yards, average per reception and touchdowns. Shorts registered four 100-yard receiving games and a franchise-record four catches of 50-plus yards.
Sullivan, 67, did not coach in 2011 and spent the offseason working with NFL players in Minnesota including Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowl receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley. He previously served as wide receivers coach/senior assistant for the San Francisco 49ers from 2005-10. The 49ers selected wide receiver Michael Crabtree with the 10th overall pick in 2009 and he had 103 receptions for 1,366 yards and eight touchdowns under Sullivan’s tutelage. Under the guidance of Sullivan, 2008 sixth-round pick Josh Morgan posted a career-high 52 receptions for 527 yards in 2009 and had a career-best 698 receiving yards on 44 receptions in 2010. In 2008, Sullivan’s unit was highlighted by the play of 15-year veteran wideout Isaac Bruce, who earned the team’s Len Eshmont Award for his courageous and inspiring play. Bruce had seven touchdown receptions, his most since 2002, and led all receivers with 835 receiving yards on 61 catches.
Prior to his time with the 49ers, Sullivan spent one season as wide receivers coach for the Miami Dolphins in 2004. He was a member of the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff for three seasons (2001-03). In his first two seasons with the club, Sullivan mentored the team’s wide receivers, where he worked with a group that included David Boston. Boston led the NFL with 1,598 receiving yards on 98 receptions in 2001 and was selected to the first Pro Bowl of his career. Sullivan was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2003 where he worked with wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Boldin finished third in the NFL in receptions (101) and receiving yards (1,377) on his way to being named the NFL’s Rookie of the Year as well as a starter on the NFC’s Pro Bowl squad.
Sullivan’s NFL coaching career began in 1992 with the San Diego Chargers where he spent five seasons (1992-96). He coached wide receivers in Detroit from 1997-2000. Prior to entering the NFL coaching ranks, he spent 21 years as an assistant on the collegiate level. Sullivan was an assistant at Kansas State (1971-72), Texas Tech (1973-75), South Carolina (1976-82), Indiana (1983), Louisiana State (1984-90) and Ohio State (1991).
A native of Miami, Sullivan played quarterback at Miami Jackson High School. He earned a scholarship to Florida State and later transferred to Delta State.
Sullivan and his wife, Connie, have two sons, Jon-Eric, who has spent the past 10 seasons with the Green Bay Packers as an area scout, and Matthew along with daughter, Allison.
COACHING BACKGROUND: Kansas State 1971-72, Texas Tech 1973-75, South Carolina 1976-82, Indiana 1983, Louisiana State 1984-90, Ohio State 1991, San Diego Chargers 1992-96, Detroit Lions 1997-2000, Arizona Cardinals 2001-03, Miami Dolphins 2004, San Francisco 49ers 2005-10, Jacksonville Jaguars 2012-16.