Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders has had a storied career in the NFL and now he will use the lessons he’s learned along his journey to guide an HBCU football team. Jackson State University recently announced that Sanders has been tapped to become its football team’s head coach.
Sanders is the 21st head football coach in the Mississippi-based, historically Black university’s history. The wide breadth of experience that he has had on the field as a player and coach made him a solid selection to advance JSU’s football program. Sanders—who was a first-round draft pick in 1989—played 14 seasons in the NFL. He is a two-time Super Bowl champion and eight-time Pro Bowler. Although this will be Sanders’ first time leading a college team, he is no stranger to coaching. He serves as the offensive coordinator at the Cedar Hill, Texas-based Trinity Christian School. Sanders has also been on the coaching staff for the Under Armour All-America Game for the past decade.
He says he’s humbled to join the Tiger family and looks forward to helping students elevate athletically and academically. “I am truly blessed to be the 21st Head football coach of Jackson State University,” he said in a statement. “This amazing HBCU has always enjoyed a high level of commitment academically and athletically. It’s my desire to continue this storied tradition and history of JSU and prayerfully bring more national recognition to the athletes, the university, the Sonic Boom of the South, and HBCUs in general. I am TRULY proud to be a part of the JSU Tiger family.” Ashley Robinson, who serves as the President and Director of Athletics at JSU, says he believes Sanders’ leadership will be instrumental in not only taking the institution’s football program to new levels but empowering students to excel in every area of their lives. “I am thrilled to welcome Deion Sanders to Jackson State University, the City of Jackson, and Mississippi. Coach Sanders is student-athlete centered and cares about young men and their wellbeing beyond the football field. We expect to compete for and win championships at Jackson State, and Coach Sanders will help us achieve those goals,” he said.
Jackson State University has a strong football program. The school has won three HBCU National Championships, seven division championships and 16 Southwestern Athletic Conference Championships. Additionally, 99 NFL draft picks have come from the school.