As Deion Sanders‘ new coaching staff at Colorado begins to take shape, a noticeable name hasn’t been mentioned. Jackson State offensive coordinator Brett Bartolone, who was handpicked by Sanders at the recommendation of legendary head coach Mike Leach to help elevate the passing game and orchestrated the top offense in the SWAC, seems to be on the outs after it was reported that Sanders has hired Kent State head coach Sean Lewis to be his offensive coordinator.
While that may come as a surprise, it’s totally understandable. Prior to joining JSU Bartolone was an offensive analyst and assistant quarterbacks coach for Nevada.
Deion Sanders Hires Sean Lewis As Offensive Coordinator
Meaning, Coach Prime was the first to give Bartolone a chance to call plays. That kind of experiment was apparently acceptable for the FCS level, but Bartolone being the offensive coordinator at Colorado isn’t something anyone should’ve expected. He lacks experience.
Sanders went outside of the JSU program to bring in the aforementioned Lewis to be his offensive coordinator in Boulder. Lewis has 10 years of head coach and play-calling experience, something Sanders sought out in this hire. Lewis has been reportedly trying to get out of the MAC conference for a while now, even interviewing for the Cincinnati job.
Deion Sanders has hired Kent State HC Sean Lewis to be Colorado’s offensive coordinator.
In 2022, Kent State ranked 44th in total offense.
In 2021, they ranked 5th. pic.twitter.com/EseaOiWnyr
— Unnecessary Roughness (@UnnecRoughness) December 6, 2022
Coach Prime told his Colorado players during his initial meeting that he was putting together a great coaching staff.
“It’s going to be one of the best staffs you’ve ever seen assembled. One of the best recruiting staffs you’ve ever seen assembled. They’re coming.
“Everything. The way you think about the game, the way you study the game. I’m going to invest in you, and you’re going to invest in yourself.”
Where Are Dennis Thurman And Flea Harrell?
Two other coaches that Deion hasn’t yet mentioned are staying or going are defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman and assistant head coach/running backs coach Gary “The Flea” Harrell. Which is shocking, considering Flea ran the team when Sanders was out for three weeks last season dealing with foot and ankle complications.
Harrell could be in line to replace Sanders at JSU. Thurman is a former NFL defensive coordinator who’s put together one of the best defenses in all of college football the past two seasons.
It’s very possible that Harrell could be promoted to head coach, Bartolone remains offensive coordinator and Thurman remains as defensive coordinator at JSU. That would ensure some continuity while the school regroups and brainstorms to come up with a narrative that would make elite student-athletes still want to attend a JSU void of “The Coach Prime Effect.”
So Dennis Thurman, Bret Bartalone, and Coach Flea staying? If Jackson State can get a figurehead in there with a big following and JSU could have a dynasty and not have much of a drop-off. https://t.co/SfyX1L4TmB
— SWAC BUZZ (@SwacBuzz) December 6, 2022
What Coaches Are Leaving With Deion Sanders For Colorado?
Sanders is reportedly bringing linebackers coach Andre Hart, defensive backs coach Kevin Mathis and renowned tight ends coach and hype man Tim Brewster.
He’s also reportedly adding former Oregon, Florida State and Florida Atlantic head coach Willie Taggart as well. Shedeur Sanders was originally committed to Taggart and FAU until Deion landed the job at JSU.
Deion Lands Former NFL Head Coach Mike Zimmer
Mike Zimmer Vikings ex Head Coach will be Deion Sanders defensive coordinator at Colorado after going 12-0 at Jackson State-He gets 💰💰Pay raise and fresh clean drinking water 💦.
— Larry Fitzgerald Sr. (@FitzBeatSr) December 7, 2022
Zim is considered one of the best defensive minds of the past 30 years.
Having been the one of the key coaching cogs of the 1995 Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl-winning defense and the coach of some highly ranked defenses in Cincinnati and Minnesota, he’s a huge get for Sanders and the Buffaloes.
Deion wasn’t lying when he said he was assembling a loaded staff.