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Deion Sanders Officially Named Colorado Head Coach After Jackson State's SWAC Title

Adam WellsDecember 4, 2022

JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI - DECEMBER 03: Head coach Deion Sanders of the Jackson State Tigers looks on before the game against the Southern University Jaguars of the SWAC Championship game at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium on December 03, 2022 in Jackson, Mississippi. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Justin Ford/Getty Images

Deion Sanders is heading to Colorado.

The University of Colorado athletic director Rick George announced Sanders will be the next head football coach for the program.

Colorado Buffaloes Football @CUBuffsFootball

AD Rick George has named COACH PRIME <a href="https://twitter.com/DeionSanders?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DeionSanders</a> to be the 28th full-time head football coach at CU. <br><br>Welcome Coach Prime to Colorado!<br><br>📝 <a href="https://t.co/otRTjyivpr">https://t.co/otRTjyivpr</a> <a href="https://t.co/q63LyoWqSX">pic.twitter.com/q63LyoWqSX</a>

Colorado Buffaloes Football @CUBuffsFootball

Welcome to Colorado, Coach Prime 🤝<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoBuffs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoBuffs</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/DeionSanders?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DeionSanders</a> <a href="https://t.co/LHJ22ylvFP">pic.twitter.com/LHJ22ylvFP</a>

Colorado Buffaloes Football @CUBuffsFootball

Home 🏠<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoBuffs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoBuffs</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/DeionSanders?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DeionSanders</a> <a href="https://t.co/QOmnN9dvZ9">pic.twitter.com/QOmnN9dvZ9</a>

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Coach Prime said he is taking the job for the opportunity and it is "not about a bag" <a href="https://t.co/xIdcFjkDYF">pic.twitter.com/xIdcFjkDYF</a>

Per The Athletic's Bruce Feldman, Sanders told his Jackson State players after their victory over Southern in the SWAC Championship Game on Saturday he was leaving for the new job.

Sanders did say during his address to the Tigers he will "finish what we started," which would seem to indicate he will remain with the team through the Celebration Bowl against North Carolina Central on Dec. 17 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

The move has been rumored for most of the week leading up to Saturday's game. Sanders even confirmed he had been offered the Colorado job on Monday during a teleconference call with reporters.

Sanders also said other programs had contacted him to express their interest, but he declined to name them.

Per ESPN's Pete Thamel, Sanders spent most of this week "making inquiries to both potential members of his on-field staff and support staff at Colorado" about joining him at his new job.

Thamel also noted Sanders placed a call to a "prominent player in the NCAA transfer portal" and encouraged him not to make any decision until Sanders could recruit him to Colorado.

Getting Sanders is a huge boon for a program that has had five head coaches since 2018. Mike MacIntyre was fired after a six-game losing streak after starting the 2018 campaign 5-0. Quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper served as interim head coach for the final game of the year.

Mel Tucker went 5-7 in his lone season at Colorado in 2019 before resigning to take the same position at Michigan State. Karl Dorrell made it through two full seasons before being fired this past October after an 0-5 start.

Mike Sanford replaced Dorrell on an interim basis for the final seven games in 2022. The Buffaloes finished this season 1-11, tied for the worst single-season record in program history.

Colorado has only made two bowl appearances since 2008. It has only played for a Pac-12 title once since moving to the conference in 2011.

Sanders is wrapping up a successful three-season run at Jackson State University. He was hired by the program in September 2020 and has led it to a 27-5 record with back-to-back SWAC championships.

The Tigers' 12 wins this season broke the previous record of 11, set in 2021 (11-2). They can complete the first perfect season in program history with a win in the Celebration Bowl.