The HBCU Movement Continues: Deion Sanders Named Head Coach of Jackson State Tigers

Illustration for article titled The HBCU Movement Continues: Deion Sanders Named Head Coach of Jackson State Tigers
Photo: Christian Petersen (Getty Images)

After days of speculation, it’s officially official: Deion Sanders is the next head coach of the Jackson State Tigers.

ESPN reports that the NFL Hall of Famer, who currently serves as the offensive coordinator at Trinity Christian High School in Cedar Hill, TX, made the big reveal on the debut episode of his new podcast that I will probably never in life listen to, 21st & Prime.

“God called me to Jackson State,” Sanders said.

In becoming a first-time head coach at the collegiate level, Prime Time will be short on experience, but the school hopes he’ll make up for it in charisma and fanfare.

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“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.”

In recent months we’ve seen a big push for college athletes to shift the power dynamics of collegiate sports by attending HBCUs, and in July, five-star recruit Makur Maker did exactly that by committing to Howard in hopes of “making the HBCU movement real so that others will follow.”

In deciding to coach football at Jackson State, one of the biggest HBCUs in the country, Sanders’ makes the school a much bigger draw for potential recruits based on his reputation on the field and meaningful relationships with both pro and college players.

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There’s also speculation that Sanders’ son, Shedeur Sanders, a four-star quarterback who committed to play at Florida Atlantic in July, could de-commit and join his father in Mississippi.

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“I am truly blessed to be the 21st Head football coach of Jackson State University,” the 53-year-old 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. ‘I BELIEVE’.”

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This is a big move for Jackson State and while the results have yet to be seen on the field, one thing is for sure: Prime Time still knows how to make an entrance.

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Congrats to Deion and Jackson State.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.

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DISCUSSION

If Deion is smart, and well he has made millions of his own brand so that is reason for optimism, he will find the best coordinators that he can and just be a face and a motivator. I mean shit this is an easy sell. If you are a DB wouldn’t you want to go there? I mean suppose he adds Charles Haley and Leon Lett, both coaching at The NFL level BTW, to his staff why wouldn’t quality D lineman go there? He has a built in advantage, I hope he is wise enough to do it.