By Joseph Phillips, Crusader Sports Editor
NFL Hall of Famer and two-time Super Bowl champion Deion Sanders was named head coach of the Jackson State University Tigers football team in September.
Sanders, a devout Christian speaker and former elite football player in the NFL said God called him to coach at the historical Black college.
“God called me to Jackson State,” Sanders said on the first episode of the 21st and Prime podcast.
Following a stellar NFL career, during which he also played major league baseball, Sanders will be a first-time head coach at the collegiate level.
Sanders said he was truly blessed to be named the 21st head football coach of the university and that his desire is to continue the 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.
“It is very big for Jackson State University,” said Ashley Robinson, athletic director of JSU in a statement to the Clarion Ledger. “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.
Also in the statement, Robinson said Sanders is a coach who would be student-athlete centered and care about the needs of young men and their well-being beyond the football field.
“We expect to compete for and win championships at Jackson State, and Coach Sanders will help us achieve those goals,” Robinson said.
Currently serving as the offensive coordinator at Trinity Christian School in Cedar Hill, Texas, Sanders will finish out the season there before beginning preparations for JSU. The season was pushed back to the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jackson State’s acting president Thomas Hudson, said on the podcast that the move was a result of the “grace of God” and the history of Jackson State football, according to the Clarion Ledger.
Sanders, 53, also agreed with Hudson’s comments on the podcast.
“Why not? Isn’t this the time?” said Sanders, who starred as a defensive back in the NFL and who was also known as PrimeTime.
“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.”
With the huge hire of Sanders, football will now be “PrimeTime” on the Jackson State University campus.