Report: Deion Sanders to Hire Kent State HC Sean Lewis as Colorado OC

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 5, 2022

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 24: Head coach Sean Lewis of the Kent State Golden Flashes looks on during the first half against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 24, 2022 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Colorado is hiring Kent State head coach Sean Lewis to be its offensive coordinator, according to ESPN's Pete Thamel.

This is the Buffaloes' first major addition to their staff since naming Deion Sanders their new head coach.

Lewis went 24-31 in his five seasons with the Golden Flashes and led them to a bowl game in 2019 and 2021.

Focusing on the record alone doesn't do justice to the work the 36-year-old did.

Kent typically schedules challenging non-conference games to pad its financial coffers, meaning it's essentially guaranteed three losses every year outside of MAC play. In 2022, it played Washington, Oklahoma and Georgia all on the road.

Lewis also inherited what might've been the most difficult rebuilding job at the FBS level.

Kent State won 11 games and climbed to No. 18 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll in 2012, but that was a significant outlier for the program. The Golden Flashes had just one bowl appearance before that, and they immediately fell back to earth after Hazell left for Purdue before the 2013 season.

Paul Haynes succeeded Hazell and compiled a 14-45 record over five years. Kent State never won more than four games in a single season.

The Golden Flashes enjoyed a level of success with Lewis they hadn't seen for decades, and they did it with an entertaining brand of football, too.

It was only a matter of time before Lewis left for greener pastures, with The Athletic's Justin Williams including him among the candidates for Cincinnati before the Bearcats hired Louisville's Scott Satterfield.

This move qualifies as a coup for Colorado since he presumably could've held out for another job if he had been so inclined. It's also an encouraging sign for the fanbase as to how Sanders will run things.

The Hall of Fame cornerback has never coached at the FBS level and remains somewhat inexperienced as a coach, having worked for three years at Jackson State. By poaching Lewis, he seems to be recognizing his own limitations and showing a willingness to empower his top assistants.

As much as Lewis is downgrading in terms of his title, going to Colorado and transforming the offense might be a better showcase toward putting him on track for an attractive Power Five gig down the road.