Deion Sanders and his son, Shedeur Sanders, are already making waves in Colorado.
At the end of 2022, the University of Colorado Boulder decided to gamble on one of the most well-known names in football by hiring former NFL defensive back, Deion Sanders as their head coach. Prior to Colorado, Sanders had been the head coach for Jackson State University, coaching notable players such as his two children—Shedeur and Shiloh Sanders—and the number one recruit in his class: Travis Hunter. Sanders did not come inexpensive, signing a five-year, 29.5 million dollar contract with Colorado. However, his value has already started to show, as the team, having gone 11-1 last season, has started this season 3-0.
Given that this change has come about almost overnight, it is important to investigate what exactly is causing this monumental shift within the Colorado football program. For Sanders (also known as Coach Prime), it all starts with a shift in the culture. He notably told much of the Colorado roster to “jump in the [transfer] portal” after not exhibiting the level of discipline that he required in his program, leading to the transfer of more than 50 athletes from the program. Perhaps more importantly, these spots were then filled with higher-level talent who were attracted by Coach Prime. While some may see this as cutthroat, such decisions often pay off. In his view, this overhaul was essential for the team's long-term success. He explained his philosophy in a candid interview with "60 Minutes," saying, "I think the truth is good for kids." For Sanders, being straightforward and unapologetic about the standards he expects is crucial to instilling discipline and commitment in his players.
In addition to Sanders’ brutal honesty, he has emphasized the importance of accountability and consistency, often never appearing to be satisfied with the quality of work he sees. He has constantly emphasized that the journey toward excellence is an ongoing one. Under Sanders' guidance, the Buffaloes have not only become a more disciplined team but also a more cohesive one.
In addition to the cultural transformation, Coach Prime's extensive knowledge of the game, drawn from his decorated NFL career, has been invaluable to the team's development. As a man with two Super Bowl rings under his belt, he knows the ins and outs of football better than almost anyone. Furthermore, Sanders’ reputation as a coach has helped recruit top-tier talent locally and nationally, drawn by the prospect of one of the most famous names in football.
The Colorado Buffaloes’ strong start to the 2023-24 season looks to be just the beginning of an exciting new era under Coach Prime. His impact is already very prevalent, and the future of Colorado football is bright.