Coach Prime for the win!
Deion Sanders led Jackson State to a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) championship win, Rolling Out reports.
Last September, Pro Hall of Famer Deion Sanders was named as the new head coach of the Jackson State University (JSU) football team. Not only was the moment historic, it cemented a shift in the national conversation in favor of Black athletes committing to HBCUs over predominantly white colleges and universities. By December 2020, both of Sanders’ sons, Shilo and Shedeur, had joined their father on the Tigers’ team.
This year, Sanders led the team to a 11 game winning season and their first SWAC championship since 2007 this past weekend with a 27-10 victory over Prairie View A&M. JSU is now on their way to Atlanta for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) championship game against South Carolina State in what is known as the Black college football national championship. But this is just the beginning for the JSU Tigers, says Sanders.
“We’re on the verge of having another phenomenal recruiting class. We’re on the verge of entering in our new locker room in a short period of time and having a whole-new look leading onto the practice. We’re just on the verge of some things here on the campus of Jackson State, and putting the country on notice that you can make it from an HBCU to the NFL like it once [was] before. Where it was plentiful, where that was the normalcy. We got to get that normalcy back,” Sanders told reporters.
As coach, Sanders has been instrumental in not only securing wins but securing a foundation for the team, expediting the installation of an all-turf field so the team won’t have to travel to other high schools to practice and bringing in the No.1 recruiting class in HBCU and Football Championship Subdivision history. He plans to continue that tradition and while his sons have already joined the team, Sanders has also mentioned plans for his daughter, Shelomi, to join the JSU women’s basketball team next season.
His dedication, even during trying times, has been inspiring for HBCU athletes across the country. Sanders recently posted a video on social media of him hugging his son Shedeur and congratulating players from a mobile scooter after complications from surgery landed him in the hospital. Despite missing three games as a result of the illness, Sanders maintained his commitment to the team.
I’m so proud of our young men for tonight’s comeback win @GoJSUTigersFB. This was right after @ShedeurSanders threw the game winning touchdown to @mightymal13 with under 2 minutes left. I love y’all and I BELIEVE! pic.twitter.com/us09scVfnC
— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) November 14, 2021
The MEAC Celebration Bowl is set to take place on December 18th in Atlanta with Sanders having plans to finish strong.
— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) December 7, 2021advertisement
“We must finish what we started! This whole [JSU Tigers Football] program is on a mission and we aren’t finished yet,” he tweeted.
Congratulations Coach Prime and all of the JSU football players!
Photo Courtesy of Barbara Gauntt/Clarion Ledger/USA Today