Hackett was a three-sport star in high school and a football and baseball star in college. A quarterback at Southern Guilford, he converted to tight-end at Elon College, where he helped his team to the 1980 NAIA national championship and was named an All-American. He also earned that accolade playing for Elon’s baseball team, hitting .396 with 17 homers and 28 stolen bases as a senior. Twice chosen in the major league draft, Hackett decided to pursue a pro football career. He spent two years with the San Antonio Gunslingers in the USFL, catching 63 passes for eight TDs. Hackett played with Green Bay and Denver in the NFL and participated in Super Bowl XXI with the Broncos.