Deion Sanders Named SWAC Coach of the Year After Leading Jackson State to 10-1 Season

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVNovember 29, 2021

Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders walks the field during an NCAA football game against Louisiana Monroe on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Monroe, La. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
AP Photo/Matthew Hinton

Deion Sanders is a two-time Super Bowl champion and Pro Football Hall of Famer, and he can now add another accomplishment to his resume.

Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports and The Athletic reported the SWAC named Sanders its Coach of the Year for the 2021 campaign after he directed Jackson State to a 10-1 record during the regular season.

The Tigers went 8-0 in conference play and won their first SWAC East Division title in eight years.

Jackson State made headlines when it hired Sanders as its head coach in September 2020.

After all, he played in the NFL from 1989-2000 and then returned from retirement for two seasons in 2004 and 2005. All he did was make eight Pro Bowls and six All-Pro teams while lacing it up for the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Football Team and Baltimore Ravens.

While the football legend didn't have much coaching experience to fall back on, he has found immediate success.

The program's last winning season before hiring Sanders came in 2013, but it went 4-3 during his first campaign on the sidelines as a notable first step toward the success that would come this season.

Jackson State's only loss during the 2021 campaign came by five points in a September matchup with UL Monroe of the Sun Belt Conference. It finished its regular season with a senior day win over Alcorn State and will face Prairie View A&M in the SWAC Championship Game on Saturday.

Quarterback Shedeur Sanders led the way with 2,971 yards, 28 touchdowns and five interceptions through the air to go with three touchdowns on the ground. 

That the freshman signal-caller just so happens to be the head coach's son surely helped in recruiting, and the Sanders combination has the Tigers competing at a level they have not in the past.