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Coach Prime, Hate Him or Love Him, He's Here!

Coach Prime Hate Him or Love Him? photo credit: Deion Sanders Instagram
Coach Prime Hate Him or Love Him, He's Here! photo credit: Deion Sanders Instagram

Deion "Coach Prime" Sanders is no stranger to the limelight and controversy, and his recent foray into Power 5 collegiate coaching has only intensified the scrutiny. On September 2, 2023, Coach Prime led the Colorado Buffalos to a remarkable victory over last year's National Champion runner-up TCU, setting tongues wagging not only in college football, but in the world of sports. But with success comes detractors, and Coach Prime's career has been punctuated by a seemingly disproportionate amount of criticism and animosity.

Coach Prime's journey to the coaching ranks began after an illustrious career as a world-class athlete, spanning both professional baseball in the MLB and professional football in the NFL. He entered the coaching arena after stints at Prime Prep Academy and Triple-A Academy, schools that he helped put on the map. However, his appointment as the head coach of Jackson State University's football program in 2020 catapulted him into the national spotlight.

Coach Prime quickly made his mark at Jackson State, winning back-to-back SWAC championships and earning two SWAC Coach of the Year awards. His accomplishments on the field were remarkable, but his off-field impact raised eyebrows. Coach Prime's tenure at Jackson State generated an astonishing $185 million in historic NCAA NIL (name, image, and likeness). It brought in prominent advertising and exposure for the university, propelling JSU to the #1 spot in HBCU's social media presence.

Coach Prime secured custom suits for his players, ensuring they looked the part when representing JSU. His efforts were instrumental and increased the visibility of JSU and other HBCU schools being seen on ESPN every Saturday. Despite these achievements, some critics persisted in their refusal to accept Coach Prime as a legitimate figure in HBCU, saying he wasn’t SWAC and labeling him a sell-out when he took on a coaching role at the University of Colorado.

Coach Prime During Week 1 game against TCU photo credit: Deion Sanders Instagram

In Colorado, Coach Prime continued to defy

conventions by overhauling the roster and bringing in 82 new players, including nine who followed him from Jackson State. This unconventional move garnered criticism from various quarters but didn't deter Coach Prime from being true to himself. Facing doubters who questioned his ability to succeed in the PAC 12 with a largely untested squad, Coach Prime motivated his team, asking them if they believed. His unyielding confidence has started to silence the naysayers, as evidenced by the Buffaloes' impressive wins over then #17 TCU and rival Nebraska.

Coach Prime's flamboyant persona and unapologetic approach to coaching have also attracted attention. While some may find his antics over the top, it's clear that he's preparing his players not only for football success but also for life beyond the field. With an 85% Black roster, and he being an African American, Coach Prime's success challenges the status quo, and he's unafraid to address the media's criticisms head-on, reinforcing his commitment to his team and their goals.

In the end, whether you hate him or love him, Coach Prime remains true to the brash and charismatic persona that made him famous as "Prime Time." His journey through the world of coaching promises to be as unconventional and exciting as his playing days, leaving us all eager to see what the future holds for this enigmatic figure in the world of sports.

Written by Robert “Rob Redeemed” Davis


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