I am excited to announce that we have named Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders as the next CU Buffs head football coach. Deion has agreed to a five-year contract, which is subject to the approval of the CU Board of Regents next week.
Athletic Director Rick George and I have spoken to Coach several times in recent days and we have both been impressed by his integrity, his storied career as both a player and now a coach, and his ability to lead and shape his players. As a nationally prominent figure, he will elevate our program and university in unprecedented ways. His passion for the student-athletes in his charge will make him a perfect fit for CU Boulder.
A successful football program benefits the entire university. It connects us to the community and serves as our front porch. It complements the world-changing research and academics for which CU Boulder is known throughout the world.
Athletics are also an integral part of the college experience and can often galvanize our entire campus in support of our beloved Buffaloes. We are confident this hire will produce an incredible level of excitement for our entire campus community.
A person of Deion’s stature needs little introduction, but in addition to Hall of Fame inductions as an NFL and college player, and nine years in which he also played Major League Baseball, he comes to CU Boulder after three incredibly successful years as head coach at Jackson State, where he went 27-5, won back-to-back Southwestern Athletic Conference titles, was named SWAC Coach of the Year each of the last two seasons, and earned the Eddie Robinson Award as the Football Championship Subdivision coach of the year in 2021.
I want to commend Rick George for conducting an extensive national search that led us to Coach Sanders, who is the perfect fit for our program and who I’m confident will lead our student-athletes on and off the field in a way that will make us proud. Under Rick, the CU Boulder Athletic Department has had a bold vision and been a national leader in providing resources for our student-athletes.
Securing a coach like Deion Sanders has truly been a collaborative effort, and I’m happy to announce that, in coordination with our faculty athletics representatives, we have initiated a pilot program for transfer credit review that facilitates the expedited review of the academic credits from other institutions in order to assess their acceptability at CU Boulder as electives. This is not only helpful for student-athletes looking to continue their careers at the University of Colorado via the transfer portal, but also for Colorado residents who are attending another university out of state and want to return home to get their degree. This institutional change, combined with the new Name Image Likeness Collective and the student-athlete resources we already have in place, will help provide the tools that are necessary for all of our athletic programs, including football, to succeed.
Finally, I want to send a heartfelt thanks to all of our football student-athletes. This past year was a challenge both on and off the field, and you handled tremendous adversity with poise and grace.
I am grateful to our fans and look forward to joining all of you in cheering on Coach Deion Sanders and our incredible student-athletes when they take the field in front of a packed house at Folsom Field next year.
Philip P. DiStefano