Deion Sanders Announces Jackson State Head Coaching Job: 'Match Made in Heaven'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2020

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR NFL - Emma Roberts, left, and former NFL player Deion Sanders present the award for AP Coach of the Year at the 7th Annual NFL Honors at the Cyrus Northrop Memorial Auditorium on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Michael Zorn/Invision for NFL/AP Images)
Michael Zorn/Associated Press

The rumors are true: Deion Sanders is coming to Jackson State. The Hall of Fame cornerback announced on his 21st & Prime podcast that he will take over as the HBCU's next head football coach. 

"Why not? Isn't this the time?" Sanders said. "Isn't this the moment? Isn't this what's needed? To match what our president eloquently said, it's a match made in heaven. This is a God move."

Sanders has been the offensive coordinator at Trinity Christian School (TX) since 2017. In addition to his role at Jackson State, he will remain at Barstool Sports as an NFL analyst and podcast host.

"It's very big for Jackson State University," Jackson State athletic director Ashley Robinson said. "Not only for Jackson State University, this is very big for the country right now. Very big for the state of Mississippi. To Coach Prime, Jackson State University—a blue-blood program full of Hall of Famers—it's just a great time."

Jackson State is expected to officially announce Sanders' hiring Monday.

Sanders will take over a program that has fallen on hard times for nearly a decade. Jackson State has not had a winning season since 2013 and let go of coach John Hendrick after a 4-8 campaign in 2019. The program has not reached the FCS playoffs since 1997.

Sanders, who brings with him a Hall of Fame resume and national cache Jackson State has never seen, says he's committed to bringing in pro prospects.

"If you have no desire to play on Sundays, you can't play for me," Sanders said on the podcast. "I want players that have the willingness and the readiness to sacrifice and go to the next level ... If you're good enough to play at Alabama, you're good enough to play in Jackson."

Sanders' name recognition should be enough to get some higher-level recruits to consider heading to an HBCU. However, he may have to prove his acumen as a coach before building the school into an FCS power.


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