For years, Deion Sanders dazzled on the football field. He won two Super Bowls, made eight Pro Bowl appearances, earned an NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, and lived up to his “Prime Time” nickname with plenty of impressive plays. Now, as a head coach, he’s been equally impressive — he turned Jackson State into an FCS powerhouse, going 23-2 the past two seasons, including an undefeated 12-0 record this year.
His strong coaching skills have attracted attention from big Division I schools. That attention is about to pay off. The Colorado Buffaloes just offered Sanders a $29.5 million deal over five seasons to become their football coach. That works out to $5.9 million per season. It’s the most the school has ever paid for a football coach by $2 million annually.
But maybe Sanders shouldn’t make plans to move to Boulder quite yet. Colorado athletic director Rick George says the university doesn’t currently have the money to pay Sanders 🙂
When asked how he was able to fast-track Sanders as the school’s next coach, George chuckled a bit and gave an honest answer.
“We don’t have the money yet, but I know we’ll have it, so I’m not worried about that piece,” George said. “This is the time for us to put all the chips in the center, and it’s time for us to make a significant commitment to athletics and this football program.“
While Sanders should earn plenty of money in Colorado, USA Today reported he’ll need to give Jackson State $300,000. Part of Sanders’ contract stipulated that if he left before 2024 and current athletic director Ashley Robinson was still the school’s AD, Sanders would have to return a portion of his salary. Giving up $300,000 is tough, but getting $29.5 million in return is a great deal.
The hiring of Sanders has already drawn plenty of publicity, with players considering transferring and businesses offering name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals. That will all bring extra income to Colorado, so George is probably correct not to worry too much about how the school will pay their next coach.
Still, it’s a funny situation to be in. If Sanders continues his winning ways with the Buffaloes, he’ll be well worth the financial stretch.