Deion Sanders has joined the college football head coaching ranks, taking over Jackson State. The NFL legend, who has no high-level coaching experience to his name, raised some eyebrows, but he insists that this is not a stunt.
Sanders made his intentions to coach well known last year. He interviewed at his alma mater Florida State, as well as at Arkansas, where he impressed athletic director Hunter Yuracheck. He and Jackson State had reportedly been circling each other for months, and the school moved on from former head coach John Hendrick in late August.
AD Ashley Robinson has more or less admitted that the attention that Deion Sanders brings is a plus. The hire was huge news across the sports world, and broke through to the mainstream news cycle as well. Before he took the job, Sanders wanted to make sure that Jackson State greats of the past knew that he’s taking this coaching job seriously.
“In such a time as this, what we’re dealing with in our country today, just trying to fight for equality, (it is) tremendously (important),” Sanders told Paul Finebaum this week, via 247Sports. “That’s why I picked up a phone before I even accepted the job to call Robert Brazile, to call Lem Barney, Jackie Slater, Eddie Payton, some of the pioneers of Jackson State University and getting their blessing and to have them understand this is not a gimmick. This is not a stunt. This is real, this is genuine.”
New Jackson State head football coach @DeionSanders: “This is not a gimmick, this is not a stunt. This is real, this is genuine. We’re gonna coach these guys every day and take it to another level.”
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) October 7, 2020
Brazile, Barney, and Slater are all Pro Football Hall of Famers, while Eddie Payton played five seasons in the league before returning to Jackson State to coach the golf program. Calling them was definitely a classy, important move by Sanders.
Some of the greatest players in football history have come from HBCUs, including Jerry Rice, Walter Payton, and Deacon Jones. “Coach Prime” says that he wants to turn Jackson State into a place for the NFL to find real serious talent.
“The staff I have assembled is unbelievable. We’re going to coach these guys morning, noon, night and day, and we’re going to take this opportunity and just blossom it, and take it to a whole other level. Once upon a time, HBCUs is where the NFL found dogs, some of the studs that was the foundation of our league, our game. We need to get back to that.”
If his entrance the day that he was announced as the next Jackson State coach is any indication, we’re going to hear a lot about Deion Sanders’ program going forward.
The post Deion Sanders Reveals Who He Called Before Taking Jackson State Job appeared first on The Spun.