Dennis Driscoll, Associate Athletic Director
JACKSON – A legendary football program and a Pro Football Hall of Famer have joined forces.
Jackson State University is excited to announce Deion Sanders will become the 21st head football coach in school history.
“I am truly blessed to be the 21st Head football coach of Jackson State University,” said Sanders. “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'”
JSU Vice President and Director of Athletics Ashley Robinson is excited to introduce Sanders to the Tiger family.
“I am thrilled to welcome Deion Sanders to Jackson State University, the City of Jackson, and Mississippi,” said Robinson. “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.”
JSU Acting President Thomas K. Hudson is pleased Sanders will lead the program into the next decade.
“Jackson State is excited to bring in Coach Sanders to lead our football program,” said Hudson. “He understands the legacy and history of football at JSU. I am confident Coach Sanders will solidify the brand of JSU football.”
An eight-time Pro Bowler, and two-time Super Bowl champion, Sanders played 14 NFL seasons for the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, and Baltimore Ravens. Sanders is the only player to have played in a Super Bowl and a World Series.
A two-time All-American at Florida State, Sanders was the first-round draft choice of the Atlanta Falcons in 1989. In 2020, for the NFL 100th Season, Sanders was named to the NFL All-Time Team.
In 2011, Sanders was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was also one of 14 players and two coaches to be named in the National Football Foundation’s 2011 College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision Class. Sanders, who holds the NFL record for career return touchdowns (19 by kickoff, punt, interception, and fumble), has recently joined the Barstool Sports team where he is making appearances on various programming including on the Pro Football Football Show, Pro Football Football After Show, and his very own podcast, 21st and Prime, which debuted last night.
Sanders originally began his broadcasting career with CBS, co-hosting the NFL Today pregame show from 2001-2003. He spent the next 14 years as an analyst for the NFL Network, headlining popular shows like GameDay Prime and Thursday Night Football.
While this is Sanders’ coaching debut on the collegiate sidelines, he has been coaching for over a decade. Sanders is the offensive coordinator at Trinity Christian School in Cedar Hill, Texas, and has led the Tigers to three-straight Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) titles. Trinity Christian is 42-3 since Sanders has been the team’s offensive coordinator.
In 2019, the Sanders-led offense totaled 6126 yards of total offense and averaged 437.6 yards per game. TCC Quarterback Shedeur Sanders blossomed and accounted for 3477 passing yards and 47 touchdowns and only four interceptions. On the ground, Emari Matthews rushed for 1169 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Sanders has been part of the coaching team for the annual Under Armour All-America Game for the past ten years. Most recently, Sanders and Team Pressure earned a 30-24 victory over Ed Reed and Team Savage in the 2020 Under Armour All-America Game. The contest featured dozens of college football’s top recruits and also included several much-anticipated commitments.
Success – both on the field and in the classroom—has always been at the forefront for Sanders. In 2007, upon retirement from the NFL, Sanders founded TRUTH, a youth organization serving over 1100 kids throughout Dallas, Texas and Memphis, Tennessee, utilizing sports and education as a platform for success and leadership.
Sanders is taking over a program with a strong history and tradition.
The JSU football program sports a 462-302-15 overall record and a .603 winning percentage. The winning percentage ranks in the top 25 of all-time in NCAA Division I.
The Tigers have produced 99 NFL draft picks, and 150 players have played professionally in the NFL. Among the most notable JSU alums are four Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees: Walter Payton, Lem Barney, Jackie Slater, and Robert Brazile. The four inductees are the most among universities in Mississippi.
JSU has won 16 Southwestern Athletic Conference Championships, seven division championships, and three HBCU National Championships.
Part of the JSU tradition is its supportive and loyal fan base. In 2018 and 2019 JSU led the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) in average attendance per game. In 2019, an average of 33,762 per game and over 100,000 people visited Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Following through on a long-standing goal, in 2020, Sanders graduated from Talladega College with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis on Organizational Management.
He is the proud father of five children: Deion Sanders Jr., Deiondra Sanders, Shilo Sanders, Shedeur Sanders, and Shelomi Sanders.
Deion Sanders continues to be represented by Constance Schwartz-Morini at SMAC Entertainment and Tabetha Plummer of Plummer Law Group. Jordan Bazant of WME was instrumental in the development of this partnership.