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Hall of Famer Deion Sanders to become head coach at Jackson State?

Sportsnaut logo Sportsnaut 9/17/2020 Matt Johnson, Sportsnaut
a man wearing a suit and glasses © Douglas Defelice-USA TODAY Sports

Deion Sanders could be on the verge of returning to football, this time as a head coach. The NFL and College Football Hall of Famer reportedly is closing in on a deal to make the transition into college coaching.

Sanders, who left NFL Network in August before joining Barstool Sports, vowed in a January interview with the "Dan Patrick Show" that he would become a college football coach next year. He could soon deliver on that guarantee.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger, Jackson State University is finalizing a deal with Sanders to make him the head coach of the football program.

Jackson State, a member of the FCS, is a Historically Black College and University in Mississippi. The Tigers also have one of the most storied football programs in HBCU history with a 477-331-22 record, 15 conference championships and seven SWAC division titles.

A member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference since 1958, the Tigers have struggled in recent years. Since 2014, the program has gone through three coaches with a combined record of 21-40 over that span.

Jackson State went 4-8 during the 2019 season under coach John Hendrick before letting him go this summer. In the program’s history, it has sent 94 players to the NFL, including Pro Football Hall of Famers Lem Barney, Walter Payton, Robert Brazile and Jackie Slater.

Before Sanders finalizes the deal, per Dellenger, he will need to resolve matters with Under Armour. He is currently signed to a contract with the company, but Jackson State is partnered with Nike.


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This will be not his first time serving as a coach, but it is his first chance at the collegiate level. He served as the offensive coordinator at Trinity Christian High School, his alma mater, in Cedar Hills, Texas. While he was the school’s offensive coordinator, his son Shedeur Sanders emerged as a star and is now committed to Florida Atlantic.

Before his most recent coaching gig, Sanders founded the Prime Prep Academy Charter School in 2012 and served as its coach. However, the school closed due to financial insolvency in 2015.

When the Florida State Seminoles fired Willie Taggart, Sanders emerged as a candidate to become the head coach. Despite his ties to the region, his alma mater eventually hired Mike Norvell as head coach.

Jackson State won’t play college football this fall, suspending play until the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If Sanders becomes the program’s head coach, he will take the field for the first time as a college head coach on Feb. 19.

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