The Deion Sanders era at Jackson State and within HBCU football is officially over.
Coach Prime, after a 41-34 loss in the Celebration Bowl to North Carolina Central on Saturday in Atlanta, is now headed to Colorado to lead a Power 5 program.
Sanders, who went 27-6 and compiled a pair of SWAC championships in three seasons, said Friday he accomplished everything he wanted to during his memorable tenure in Jackson.
But Sanders explained getting into coaching was never about winning or even enriching himself on the heels of whatever successes he experienced.
“I don’t play or coach for legacy,” Sanders told reporters. “I coach for kids. I coach for resolutions, love and passion. It’s not a job to me. I read the stuff now and then. I don’t read everything like I used to when I had that kind of time. But to even fathom I would do something for money — and God has been good to me financially — blows my mind.
Sanders said he approached the JSU job with a spirit of benevolence, not exploitation and questioned why anyone would believe in ulterior motives.
“You didn’t say that when I was in the hospital for a month and then I came in the sideline in the wheelchair. Did I do for that money? When I’m reaching into my pocket and doing stuff, did I do that for money? When I’m loving on kids and doing stuff you would not even fathom a coach would do, did I do that for money? Money doesn’t move me. I move money.”
Now Sanders will work within the luxuries of the Pac-12 and try to somewhat replicate, and exceed, what was accomplished at Jackson State for a program that hasn’t won big in more than three decades.
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