Deion Sanders responds to criticism of leaving Jackson State for Colorado

Deion Sanders will coach Jackson State on Saturday in the Celebration Bowl, his final game as the Tigers’ head coach before he moves on to the University of Colorado.

Coach Prime’s move has been criticized as much, and maybe more, than it has been celebrated.

Sanders, a Pro Football Hall of Famer, has heard all the noise since he made his departure official.

But he set the record straight during a press conference Friday in Atlanta.


Deion Sanders, Colorado’s new head football coach, takes questions in the Arrow Touchdown Club during a press conference Dec. 4, 2022 in Boulder, Colo.
(Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Sanders noted that he never claimed he would stay at Jackson State forever.

“Never once did I say they’re gonna put a tombstone with my name on it at Jackson State. So I wasn’t gonna die here. Y’all know that,” he said.

But Sanders also had to make it known that he accomplished everything he said he would when he took his first college head coaching gig. Sanders made headlines in recent years for helping revitalize a much smaller football program at the historically Black college.

“Everything I said I would do, I did. Everything I said I wanted to happen, I tried my darnedest to make it happen. We’ve exceeded, I think, expectations, in some realm,” Sanders said,

Deion Sanders holds up a jersey after being introduced as the new head football coach at the University of Colorado during a news conference Dec. 4, 2022, in Boulder, Colo.  
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

“But when I don’t fit into someone else’s plan and purpose, now there’s ridicule. But you forgot about my plan, and God’s purpose. That’s where the dysfunction comes. …

“At what point do we keep dominating, that you don’t get mad at us for dominating? Because it’s a level of dominance when you start to turn. And I felt that we start to get tension from our own people, because you’re dominant. … But it comes a time that that’s not what it’s all about for me. I’m a winner. I’ve always won. I’m gonna win…


“I’m a football coach and a darn good one. Name one thing in football that we haven’t accomplished that I said we would. But it’s bigger than that. And until we address these underlying issues that nobody wants to talk about, ain’t nothing gon’ change. 

“I’m a change agent. … When we leave, you’re gonna find out what all we did. Because they don’t really talk about the positivity ‘til we go. You’ll find out what all we did for Jackson State and all we wanted to do for Jackson State. I just pray to God that in all our getting, get some understanding on change and where change really starts. It does not start in the football department.”

So, despite whatever criticism he has received, Sanders seems at peace with what he did for Jackson State and historically Black universities.

Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders watches his players prior to the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship against Southern University Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. 
(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)


With Jackson State, Sanders has gone 27-5, and his team is 12-0 for a second consecutive season.

The Colorado program has fallen on hard times, and it fired head coach Karl Dorrell after an 0-5 start to the season.

The Buffs ended their 2022 campaign 1-8 in the Pac-12 and were blown out by Utah in their final game, 63-21. 

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