Boulder, Colo. – Deion Sanders is taking over as head coach at Colorado, bringing his charisma and larger-than-life personality to a beleaguered Pac-12 program that has fallen to the bottom of college football.

The deal was announced Saturday night by CU athletic director Rick George.

The Pro Football Hall of Famer has been at Jackson State, a historically black college that plays in the NCAA’s second tier of Division I since 2020. Sanders has guided the Tigers to consecutive Southwestern Athletic Conference titles.

The Tigers beat Southern in the SWAC championship game on Saturday in Jackson, Mississippi, and hours later, Colorado announced it was coming to Boulder.

Sanders told his team after the game that he had accepted another job, but on December 17 in Atlanta against Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion North Carolina Central in the Celebration Bowl for Historically Black Colleges, Jackson State (12 -0) was intended to coach.

Sanders told his team, “In coaching you either rise up or you perish.” “There is no graveyard for the coaches where they die at that place. They will either drive you away or you will leave.

Sanders talked about the lack of black head coaches at the highest level of college football and tried to be a catalyst for change.

“It’s not about a bag,” Sanders said. “It’s about an opportunity.”

The Tigers went 27–5 in the Sanders era and he was named SWAC Coach of the Year each of the last two seasons.

Known as “Prime Time” during his high-stepping, play-making NFL career, Sanders, 55, prefers “Coach Prime” these days. The Colorado Magnetics would prove to be a challenge for Sanders, who inherited a program coming off a 1–11 season. But he brings instant name recognition and a track record of being able to recruit top-level talent.

George said, “There were several highly qualified and influential candidates interested in becoming the next head football coach at Colorado, but none of them had the pedigree, knowledge and ability to connect with student-athletes.” Statement. “Coach Prime will not only excite our fans, but I am confident that he will lead a team of high quality and high character to take our program to the national level again.”

The Buffaloes have only turned in one full-length winning season since joining the Pac-12 in 2011. They fired Carl Dorrell in October and interim coach Mike Sanford ended the season with a 63–21 loss to No. 12 Utah. At home.

Colorado is a far cry from its glory days under Hall of Fame coach Bill McCartney, who led the Buffaloes to a national championship following the 1990 season.

While the program seeks to build its name, image and likeness portfolio, setting up the Buffs4Life Foundation to help student-athletes, Colorado has also announced its intentions in recent days to see several players enter the transfer portal. Seen announcing.

Sanders figures to bring a few players with him — possibly even his son, quarterback Shadeur Sanders, a 6-foot-2 sophomore at Jackson State who has thrown 36 TDs this season and thrown just six interceptions. Huh.

Deion Sanders was an All-American at Florida State before an extraordinary NFL career with five teams, including the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys, where he won a Super Bowl with each. He also played nine MLB seasons and reached the World Series in 1992 with the Atlanta Braves.

Over the years, Sanders was an analyst and a star of reality TV shows and commercials, including Aflac spots with Alabama coach Nick Saban.

Jackson State hired Sanders in September 2020 after he coached his sons at a Texas high school that was riddled with issues.

Going to Jackson State, Sanders called the fit a “match made in heaven”, and quickly picked up the school in Mississippi’s capital.

Jackson State’s success was significant because it made a program that produced Hall of Famers like Walter Payton, Lem Barney, Jackie Slater and Robert Brazile relevant again among HBCUs, and Sanders was determined to keep it that way.

Sanders’ arrival raised the visibility of Jackson’s state. They were on the cover of Sports Illustrated in July – a feature on how Sanders has rebuilt the program – and ESPN’s “College GameDay” visited Jackson State in October. Sanders also appeared on “60 Minutes” in a profile story.

Jackson State athletic director Ashley Robinson said in a statement that Sanders “changed the rules of what was thought possible to create a new vision for success while inspiring the community and shining a spotlight on HBCU sports and culture.” Gave.”

Sanders told the team that he was recommending to Robinson and the Jackson State administration that receivers coach TC Taylor be the next head coach.

Sanders has hit it big on the recruiting trail, landing five-star defensive back Travis Hunter and four-star receiver Kevin Coleman for this year’s team. Sanders told The Associated Press in an October podcast that both players chose JSU because he and his staff would prepare them for careers in the NFL.

CU Boulder Chancellor Philip DiStefano said, “Deion Sanders’ stature rises above the sport, and his recruitment elevates not only the football program but the entire university.” “This is an exciting new chapter in the long, rich history of Colorado football and I look forward to rubbing shoulders with our students, supporters and fans to cheer on ‘Coach Prime’ and our student-athletes next fall.”



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