Colorado is preparing for the arrival of Jackson State coach Deion Sanders on Saturday night with the expectation that he will formally accept the Buffaloes head coaching job, sources told Sports Illustrated.
Sanders, the gregarious 55-year-old NFL Hall of Famer, is coaching his team in the SWAC championship on Saturday, scheduled to kick off at 3 pm CT. The Tigers (11-0) meet Southern with a chance to win a second straight conference title and potentially claim the mythical black national championship.
Sanders’ Tigers will play for the SWAC championship on Saturday.
Barbara Gauntt/Clarion Ledger/USA TODAY Network
Multiple sources close to the Colorado search process confirmed to SI that they expect Sanders to land in Boulder around midnight local time tonight on a flight from Jackson, Mississippi. The Colorado Board of Regents has scheduled a special meeting at 10 a.m. Sunday, presumably to approve Sanders’ contract.
However, Sanders and those close to him have not said anything about their plans to take the job. Earlier this week, he publicly confirmed that he was offered the Colorado gig, something Fox Sports reported last weekend. The deal, although agreed in principle, has not been finalized, sources tell SI.
Meanwhile, the university is preparing for a big announcement on Sunday, and a celebration is scheduled on campus, say several people familiar with the plans.
There was an expectation among administrators at the Pac-12 championship game that Sanders is heading to the league. Sanders’ dalliance with other jobs is nothing new. He has interviewed with several universities in recent years, including TCU, Arkansas and his alma mater Florida State.
If Sanders officially agrees, the hiring is a resounding victory for athletic director Rick George, who beats one of the best coaching candidates of the cycle. In just his third season as coach, Sanders has built Jackson State into an FCS powerhouse, combining top-tier transfers and highly touted high school prospects to dominate the SWAC. He is 26–5 in Jackson, even investing his own money in the program and highlighting 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 to 2020. The expectation is that Sanders will bring several players from JSU with he to Boulder.
The university is in the process of changing its academic standards prior to hiring. In what has been a longstanding frustration in Boulder, Colorado standards have made it difficult for coaches to recruit transfers. For years, the school has had strict requirements for accepting credit from other universities. George told BuffZone in November that the school is working to make changes to its standards in this transfer portal era.
More college football coverage: