Deion Sanders Continues To Win At Colorado, But Will More Black Coaches Get Opportunities At Power 5 Schools?

Atlanta legend Deion Sanders stands as the key figure in the most recognized sports story in media. As head coach of the University of Colorado football team, Sanders has shocked the nation by beginning the season with a 3-0 record, a far contrast from the 1-11 record the team held in the 2022 season before Sanders arrived on campus. 

This past weekend, Sanders’ Colorado team defeated Colorado State in a 43-35 overtime thriller that ended around 2:00 a.m. on the east coast. 

The hype surrounding the game centered around Sanders and Colorado State’s coach Jay Norvell following comments made by Norvell in the days leading up to the match-up known as the “Rocky Mountain Showdown.” 

Norvell took a shot at Sanders saying his mother always told him to remove his sun glasses and hat when speaking with adults. Sanders would use those comments as motivation to his team by telling his squad, “it’s personal.” The back-and-forth dialogue created hype, sold tickets, led to star rappers and athletes on the sideline, and even allowed Sanders to make more profits for his sun glass line.  

But beyond the trash talk and fierce play on the field, the game represented a historic moment. It was the first time in the Rocky Mountain Showdown’s history that two Black head coaches faced-off in the series. 

Sanders’ rise in college sports has garnered national attention, but will it change the current landscape of college football where Black coaches lack opportunities? 

In the Power 5 conferences, recognized as the top sports teams in college, currently there are only eight Black head coaches. Currently, Black athletes make up the largest demographic of players at 46 percent. As a result, Black players aren’t likely to be coached by a figure who shares their same ethnic background. 

The number of Black coaches at P5 schools could go down soon after Michigan State’s Mel Turner finds himself in a scandal that could lead to his dismissal and loss of a $95 million contract. 

But Sanders’ success is infectious. The more he wins, it proves that Black coaches can be successful on this level. 

Before joining Colorado, Sanders spoke about the need for more Black coaches at P5 schools. 

“I feel like I have to do something about it,” Sanders said prior to leaving Jackson State University. “There’s been four or more African American coaches at the next level that have been terminated. I haven’t heard not one other than a candidate like myself to replace them. So to me, that’s a problem that many don’t think about. But that’s a problem, if someone doesn’t step up and step out, that’s a problem.”

 

 

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