JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Jackson State University introduced NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders as their new head football coach Monday morning.
The man known as “Prime Time” made the announcement Sunday evening on the debut episode of his podcast, “21st and Prime.”
Sanders was on campus this weekend with JSU Athletic Director Ashley Robinson and interim President Thomas Hudson.
“This is a turning point for JSU football and Jackson State University," Hudson said. He congratulated Robinson for finding a coach with the legacy of Sanders.
Robinson says his goal was to find the best candidate and leave no stone unturned.
“It was clear quickly that there was one prime candidate that made it to the top of the list,” he said.
Robinson says Sanders will refine and enhance the skills of the team in and out of the classroom..
“You’re going to have a coach for life in Deion Sanders,” he said.
Prime Time took to the podium with tears in his eyes and spoke about all of the things he believes.
“I believe that God led me here, not man,” Sanders said, “because man didn’t believe that I was coming.”
Sanders says he believes they can win a SWAC championship, they can increase enrollment, that the Sonic Boom is the best band in the country, and that they can continue to keep up grades among athletes and reduce crime in the community.
“I’m foolish enough to believe; do you believe?” he asked. He says they can fill the 60,000-seat stadium.
“We can be a pillar of all HBCUs. I’m foolish enough to believe,” he said. “We’re looking for players that are fast, smart tough and disciplined.”
“If you don’t believe that you can make the NFL you’re at the wrong school, because we need some dogs that believe.”
He says Jackson is a great city and one of the best kept secrets, but says everyone in the community needs to believe that they can make a difference.
“We will never settle for mediocrity ever again.” He says the elevation of the football program will elevate every other program at the school.
“I have a commitment to excellence in each and everything I do, and I did not leave my 100 acres and a mule to come here and fail."
He says it will be a “marriage made in heaven" and can’t wait to get started.
Sanders currently serves as the offensive coordinator at Trinity Christian in Dallas and will continue those duties until the 2020 Texas high school season is finished.
With the SWAC pushing the football season to the Spring of 2021 due to COVID-19, Sanders' first game at Jackson State will be on February 27 against Mississippi Valley State at Veterans Memorial Stadium.