The floodgates to the coaching ranks of historically Black colleges and universities may be opening wide for former NFL stars.
When Tennessee State hired Eddie George, Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders says he was not surprised by the move. Sanders mentions that George gave him a heads up that it was in the atmosphere. And this past weekend it came to fruition.
A couple of weeks ago the aforementioned George reached out to Sanders, to discuss the possibilities, and Coach Prime says he was ecstatic. Even told George if he needed him in any capacity he was available.
George, who has never coached on any level, will be announced and begin his duties as head coach this week.
When asked about the NFL legends coming to coach at HBCUs, Sanders says he wouldn’t go that far just yet, because it’s much more than a name associated with the job, it’s about passion, desire and dedication to the program. He then went on to name some legends who may be interested in coaching at an HBCU.
Guys like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are certainly interested in coaching and they’re guys that truly love the game and they love the idea of coaching student-athletes up, as well as helping prepare them for life after football.
This is already a surreal watershed moment but could become even bigger if this current trend continues. Not to take anything away from the current coaches in the SWAC and HBCU overall, as they’re some good ones for sure.
Despite their capabilities, they don’t raise the level of visibility as it pertains to recruiting and sponsorships that a former NFL legend can bring. That’s evident in what Coach Prime has already done at Jackson State.
Sanders is in his first season at Jackson State, and his team is currently 3-3. He mentioned he’s already learned some valuable lessons as the head guy in his short stint thus far. He says he’s passed some of those early lessons onto George. The specifics of the convo, however, will stay between the NFL greats.
Call it GOAT Talk.
“We have one of those real brother-to-brother talks about the trappings. The trappings of life and the real understanding of what this is. Because it’s very real. Very real and genuine. Coach Prime believes George is ready and he’s happy for him to have this opportunity.”
Jackson State and Tennessee State will play each other this fall. The two long-time HBCU rivals are set to square off in the Southern Heritage Classic on September 11th in Memphis.