Jarrod (pronounced juh-ROD) James enters his second season as an offensive assistant with the Houston Texans in 2023. He arrived in Houston with seven years of coaching experience, most recently serving as the assistant offensive line coach at Michigan State in 2021.
In 2022, James helped coach an offensive line that blocked for breakout rookie RB Dameon Pierce, who finished the season ranked third all-time in Texans rookie rushing yards and recorded the third-best single-game rookie rushing performance with 139 yards in Week 9 against the Eagles. OL Laremy Tunsil earned his third Pro Bowl selection, finishing the season with the top pass blocking grade (91.7) among all NFL linemen, according to Pro Football Focus, and allowed just 1.0 sack. With previous tight end experience, James also helped coach TE Jordan Akins to a career-high 13.38 yards per reception on 37 catches, ranking as the best among all NFL tight ends.
While coaching for Michigan State during the 2021 season, James helped mentor an offensive line that blocked for unanimous first-team All-American RB Kenneth Walker III, who was awarded Walter Camp National Player of the Year and the Doak Walker Award after ranking second in the FBS with 1,636 rushing yards (136.3 yards per game). The Spartan offense averaged 31.8 points per game, good for third in the Big Ten Conference, after averaging only 18.0 points per game in the previous season. OL J.D. Duplain received second-team All-Big Ten honors (coaches, media), while C Matt Allen (coaches, media), OL AJ Arcuri (media), OL Blake Bueter (media), OL Jarrett Horst (coaches, media) and OL Kevin Jarvis (coaches, media) all were named honorable mention All-Big Ten.
With James as their tight ends coach in 2020, the XFL's Los Angeles Wildcats ranked second in the league in scoring offense (25.8 points per game), passing offense (250.0 yards per game) and yards per play (5.3). James arrived in Los Angeles after five seasons coaching in the collegiate ranks, including stops at Arkansas State (2018) and at his alma mater, North Carolina (2014-17).
James gained his first NFL coaching experience as a Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship intern for the Kansas City Chiefs (2017-18), Minnesota Vikings (2018) and Houston Texans (2022). He also served as a scouting intern for the Vikings in the summer of 2016.
James received his bachelor's degree in 2015 from North Carolina, where he double majored in exercise & sport science and communications and minored in Spanish. He later earned a master's degree from the school in sport administration in 2018. He played center for the Tar Heels from 2011-13 before serving as an undergraduate student assistant coach during the 2014-15 seasons.
A native of Goldsboro, N.C., James lives in the Houston area. Outside of football, James has also worked in public policy, serving as a legislative research assistant for the North Carolina General Assembly from April 2019 to February 2020.
2022-23 Offensive Assistant Houston Texans
2021 Assistant Offensive Line Michigan State
2020 Tight Ends Los Angeles Wildcats
2018 Offensive Assistant Arkansas State
2016-17 Offensive Graduate Assistant North Carolina
2014-15 Undergraduate Student Assistant North Carolina