The man known as “Prime Time” is turning his latest coaching gig into a time of praise and thanksgiving.
Super Bowl champion and NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders may go by “Coach Prime” now as head coach of the University of Colorado, but in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Sanders made it clear who he credits with his career both on and off the field.
The 56-year-old Sanders shared with “60 Minutes” his excitement over the Colorado Buffaloes football program, which took its first game this season 45-42 over TCU after winning only one game all last season.
Sanders — who turned around the flailing program at Jackson State University in Mississippi before relocating to Colorado — said he’s not surprised at how the Lord is using him in rebuilding struggling organizations.
"God wouldn't relocate me to something that was successful," he said. "That don't make sense, do it? He had to find the most disappointing and the most difficult task.
“And this is what it was. And this is what it is. And I love that."
His comments echoed similar remarks he told the network last year after accepting the position at Jackson State. Sanders was asked why he took the role, he replied, “I truly believe with all my heart and soul that God called me collect and I had to accept the charges.”
Following the Buffaloes' win over No. 17-ranked TCU, Sanders was quick to praise God for the outcome.
“Thank you, Jesus. I'm so thankful right now,” Sanders declared in a post-game interview with Fox Sports during which his quarterback son, Shedeur Sanders, praised his father’s leadership.
Considering the Horned Frogs were in the national championship game earlier this year and the Buffaloes had failed to notch a top 20 road win since 2002, Sanders was understandably grateful for the performance — and, it seems, God’s favor.
“This is a blessing,” he said. “Everybody, Buff Nation who supported us and all the hood that had my back. I thank y'all. God this is good.”
Wide receiver Travis Hunter, who also transferred from Jackson State University, was a key member of the Colorado team that secured the win over TCU. Sanders referred to him as his “other son.”
“I tried to tell you, but you ain’t wanna believe me because I’m just a lofty young coach,” Sanders said. “I don’t know nothing about football. I just played in the NFL for 14 [years], played at a high level in college for four and have been coaching youth all the way up for a long time.”
Sanders said he wasn’t rattled by the people who doubted him and his players because he had expected constant questioning.
“We’re going to continuously be questioned because we do things that have never been done … and that makes people uncomfortable,” Sanders said. “When you sit up here and see a confident black man talking his talk, walking his walk, and coaching 75 percent African Americans in the locker room, that’s kinda threatening. We’re going to consistently do what we do. I’m here and I ain’t going nowhere.”
Sanders, who said in a 2018 interview with Andscape that a suicide attempt led him to God, has been committed to living a faith-first lifestyle since.
“I don’t believe you can be at your optimum without your faith,” he said. “Sports is sports, it’s a game. My faith is everything. It’s the gas that propels the courage, the truth, keeps me going. It’s the wind, it’s the wings, it’s the air that pumps into my lungs that provokes me to live. Faith is everything.”