The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
He’s not the hero Boulder deserves—but he is the one it needs right now.
After a week of speculation, University of Colorado Boulder athletic director Rick George named Deion Sanders the Buffaloes’ head football coach on Saturday, December 3. The high-profile hiring comes on the heels of a pitiful 2022 campaign in which the Buffs ranked dead-last in the Pac-12 with a record of 1–11 (1–8 in-conference). The bottom dwellers eked out a 20–13 overtime win against the California Golden Bears on October 15 to stave off a winless season but were otherwise terrible, losing by more than 32 points on average.
That's only $1 per issue!
Admittedly, the hiring seems a bit ridiculous—perhaps because Sanders himself is something of an oddball—but there is resounding optimism in Boulder and an underlying belief that Coach Prime will rescue the Buffs from two decades’ worth of mediocrity. It’s only been two days, and if the buzz around the program is any indication, we are in for a ride.
Twoish Days of Prime Time
Saturday, Nov. 26
Fox Sports reports that the University of Colorado has offered its head football coach vacancy to Deion Sanders without mentioning any sources.
Monday, Nov. 28
Sanders confirms that he has received an offer to be the head football coach at the University of Colorado while on a teleconference for the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game participants. “I’m not going to sit here and tell all my business, but they’re not the only ones,” he adds.
Wednesday, Nov. 30
Football’s most wanted man says he will select where he’ll coach by Sunday. It is believed he’s choosing between the University of Cincinnati, the University of South Florida, and the University of Colorado.
Saturday, Dec. 3
The University of Colorado announces that it has hired Sanders as its head football coach.
— Colorado Buffaloes Football (@CUBuffsFootball) December 4, 2022
Sunday, Dec. 4
Deion Sanders posts a video of himself (sitting casually in a white leather armchair) sharing with his football team at Jackson State University that he will be accepting a different coaching opportunity. In the caption, he declares that he’s bound for Colorado. One highlight of many: “It hasn’t been too many times where I was meant to stay right and I took a left (maybe a couple marriages).”
View this post on Instagram
His son (and media manager of sorts), Deion Jr., posts another video, comparing the elder Deion to Tony Montana of Scarface.
Around 2 p.m., Sanders is introduced at a press conference with more glitz and glam than a Ciara concert. Chancellor Phillip P. DiStefano alludes to updating the transfer requirements at the university, which would allow for better recruiting, and athletic director Rick George tears up as he gives something resembling an acceptance speech. In front of university administration, Sanders hypes the crowd, which includes journalists, players, and even congressman Joe Neguse.
Deion Sanders on new head coaching job at the University of Colorado Boulder: “All you want is an opportunity to end. To compete, to dominate. To be among the elite, to be among the best. And darn it. I'm going to give you that.” pic.twitter.com/fa8ebAYnxY
— The Hill (@thehill) December 5, 2022
Incidentally, Sanders also names a starting quarterback: his son Shedeur, who isn’t even enrolled at CU.
After the presser, Sanders holds a team meeting with the players, which is also recorded.
Later in the day, the terms of Deion Sanders’ deal are revealed: five years, $29.5 million. He is set to earn $5.5 million in his first year with $200,000 raises each subsequent year. Prior to the hiring, the highest-paid head football coach in University of Colorado history was Karl Dorrell, who made $3.6 million and was fired on October 2.
When asked how CU drummed up the finances for Coach Prime, athletic director Rick George says, “We don’t have the money yet, but I know we’ll have it, so I’m not worried about that piece.”
Monday, Dec. 5
Alums, fans, and Buff Nation are pumped.
— The Joel Klatt Show: A CFB Pod (@JoelKlattShow) December 5, 2022
Congrats to Deion Sanders, rarest of humans. Hate to see him leave Jackson St – hoped to see him one day schedule/beat Ole Miss, Bama, Ga. But Colorado just hit the coaching lottery. It will soon be Prime Time in the Pac-12. Colorado's pro team (in Denver) should've hired Deion.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) December 4, 2022
Deion Sanders is going to have Colorado in the College Football Playoff within the next 5 years. Best hire this off-season.
— Big Game Boomer (@BigGameBoomer) December 5, 2022
Let’s go!!! pic.twitter.com/dlzScelqTb
— Jeremy Bloom (@JeremyBloom11) December 4, 2022
Meanwhile, recruiting has already begun.
— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) December 5, 2022
Coach Prime has been in Boulder less than 12 hours and has already pulled in the fourth 5⭐️ in program history
— Barstool Colorado (@CUBarstool) December 4, 2022
— Unnecessary Roughness (@UnnecRoughness) December 5, 2022
Attention All College & Highschool football athletes That's Smart, Tough , Fast, Discipline with Character I ain't Hard to Find! #CoachPrime
— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) November 29, 2022
A source at Colorado tells me over 200 recruits and portal transfers have reached out in the last 12 hours.
Some of them are 4 and 5-star caliber players. Deion Sanders has a chance to make some noise before Signing Day.
NIL money is also rolling in, I'm told.
— Josh Newberg (@josh_newberg) December 5, 2022
At least for now, the future in Boulder is bright.