Deion Sanders shocked the college football world in his first game as head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes Saturday. Then he did what he always does after a big win: thanked God.
The head coach, who gained the nickname “Prime Time” during his playing career, led Colorado to a 45-42 victory at No. 17 TCU, thanks in part to standout performances from quarterback Shedeur Sanders (510 passing yards and four touchdowns) and two-way player Travis Hunter (119 receiving yards and one interception). Sanders is the coach’s son. Hunter plays both offense and defense – a rare feat in modern football. TCU was favored by 21 points.
“Thank you Jesus. I'm so thankful right now,” Sanders said during a nationally televised postgame interview, fighting back tears. He thanked Colorado Athletic Director Rick George for hiring him out of Jackson State, an HBCU school.
“This is a blessing,” Sanders added.
Sanders, 56, was named head coach at Colorado in December after leading Jackson State (Miss.) to records of 11-2 and 12-0 in his last two seasons. Prior to that, he worked as a football analyst on television. Sanders played college football and baseball at Florida State University and then in the National Football League and in Major League Baseball.
He is one of the more outspoken Christians in sports.
During his first press conference in December as Colorado head coach, he gave God all the credit.
“Don't you ever tell me what God ain't. Don't you ever tell me His limits,” Sanders said at the beginning of the news conference. “Don't you ever tell me what you're up against and what you can't do.
“Out of all the persons in the world, God chose me? For that, I thank you,” Sanders said, also referencing the Colorado athletic director and board members. “For that, I love Him. For that, I magnify Him. For that I glorify Him. For that, I praise Him. For that, I owe Him. Each and every day, I'm trying to please Him.”
He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Maddie Meyer/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.