Deion Sanders hiring as Colorado football coach confirmed by school

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In a stunning turn of events for one of college football’s most beleaguered programs, the University of Colorado has hired football legend Deion Sanders as its new head football coach, instantly raising the national profile of a team that has had only two winning seasons in the past 17 years.

Colorado announced the hiring after Sanders coached Jackson State to a 43-24 win Saturday against Southern in the Southwest Athletic Conference championship game. Sanders finishes with a 27-5 record in three seasons there, including 12-0 this season, when his success captured the attention of “60 Minutes,” ESPN’s College GameDay and bigger college programs that covet similar national relevance.

In this case, Colorado’s moonshot for Sanders landed with a bang. The school is expected to pay the Pro Football Hall of Famer at least $4.5 million annually and has hatched a plan for success that might just be crazy enough to work for both sides, even if the cultural fit still seems like an odd combination.

“There were a number of highly qualified and impressive candidates interested in becoming the next head football coach at Colorado, but none of them had the pedigree, the knowledge and the ability to connect with student-athletes like Deion Sanders,” Colorado athletic director Rick George said in a statement released late Saturday. “Not only will Coach Prime energize our fanbase, I’m confident that he will lead our program back to national prominence while leading a team of high quality and high character.”

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