Skip to main content

Sources: Colorado Preparing for Deion Sanders’s Arrival, Acceptance of Coaching Offer

The school expects him to arrive in Boulder after the SWAC title game.

Colorado is preparing for the arrival of Jackson State coach Deion Sanders on Saturday evening with the expectation that he will formally accept the Buffaloes head coaching job, sources tell Sports Illustrated.

Sanders, the gregarious 55-year-old NFL Hall of Famer, is coaching his team in the SWAC championship Saturday, set for a 3 p.m. CT kickoff. The Tigers (11–0) meet Southern with a chance to win a second straight conference title and potentially claim the mythical Black national championship.

Jackson State coach Deion Sanders talks to the media

Sanders’s Tigers will play for the SWAC championship on Saturday.

Multiple sources close to Colorado’s search process confirmed to SI that they are expecting Sanders to land in Boulder around midnight local time this evening on a flight from Jackson, Miss. The Colorado Board of Regents has scheduled a special meeting at 10 a.m. Sunday, presumably to approve Sanders’s contract.

However, Sanders and those close to him have been mum about his plans to accept the job. Earlier this week, he publicly confirmed that he was offered the Colorado gig, something Fox Sports reported last weekend. The deal, while agreed to in principle, has not been finalized, sources tell SI.

Meanwhile, the university is preparing for a grand announcement on Sunday, and an on-campus celebration is scheduled, multiple people familiar with the plans say.

There was an expectation among administrators at the Pac-12 championship game that Sanders is headed to the league. Sanders’s flirtation with other jobs is nothing new. He interviewed with multiple colleges over the last several years, including TCU, Arkansas and his alma mater Florida State.

If Sanders does officially agree, the hire is a resounding victory for athletic director Rick George, who wins the jockeying over one of the cycle’s hottest coaching candidates. In just his third season as coach, Sanders has turned Jackson State into an FCS powerhouse, pooling top-flight transfers and highly touted high school prospects to dominate the SWAC. He is 26–5 in Jackson, even pouring his own money into the program and shining a bright spotlight on HBCU college football.

Before joining Jackson State, he served as a high school coach for seven seasons, coaching his sons, Shilo and Shedeur, at Trinity Christian High in Texas from 2017–20. The expectation is that Sanders will bring multiple JSU players with him to Boulder.

The university is in the process of changing its academic standards ahead of the hire. In what has been a long-standing frustration in Boulder, Colorado’s standards have made it difficult for coaches to recruit transfers. For years now, the school has held stringent requirements on accepting credits from other universities. George told BuffZone in November that the school is working to make changes to its standards in this era of the transfer portal. 

More College Football Coverage:

• USC’s Playoff Hopes Come to Screeching Halt
• Sankey Says Four SEC Teams Deserve CFP Consideration
• Rose Bowl ‘Thrilled’ to Be in Expanded Playoff