Jackson State Tigers head football coach Deion Sanders has been named the Eddie Robinson Award winner. The award is given annually to the top coach in FCS or Football Championship Subdivision. Sanders was one of 17 finalists for the prestigious award.
The award was established in 1987 as an honor to longtime Grambling State and Black College Football Legend Eddie Robinson. The College Football Hall of Fame coach spent 56 years at GSU from 1941 to 1997.
Along with @SugarBowlNOLA, @TheFWAA has selected 13 finalists for the 2021 Eddie Robinson Award as the national coach of the year in college football. https://t.co/yMAW3EWCyW pic.twitter.com/TQgKUy7goW
— Eddie Robinson Award (@CoachRobAward) December 7, 2021
Coach Prime Has The Formula
Many doubted Sanders’ preparedness to be a head coach at a Division I school, but he’s proved them wrong. In an abbreviated SWAC spring season due to COVID-19, he led the Tigers to a 4-3 record. This season, one with a full recruiting class, including his son Shedeur at QB, the Tigers won the SWAC for the first time in 14 seasons (2007). JSU has secured the program’s first 11-win season, also advancing to the first Celebration Bowl in school history.
The matchup is set, and we’re less than 15 days away from kickoff! @MEACSports champions @SCState_Fb , will take on @theswac champions @GoJSUTigersFB here in Atlanta on December 18th! Visit our website for ticket and game info. Seats are going FAST. #AChampionWillRise pic.twitter.com/gRrJVU4j9N
— Cricket Celebration Bowl (@CelebrationBowl) December 6, 2021
The game will pit the Tigers against the South Carolina State Bulldogs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, and is sold out for the first time since its inception in 2015. Sanders’ marketing ability and influence definitely played a role in that.
Sanders Has Been Huge For HBCUs And Black College Football
Sanders’ arrival at Jackson State has brought a renewed and elevated visibility to the Historically Black Colleges and Universities community, and not just football. His arrival brought a resurgence of big crowds weekly at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium – to the tune of over 42,000 fans per game, the best in FCS football. The Tigers also packed out stadiums at away games as JSU and Coach Prime became the main attraction in Black College Football.
Endorsement deals with Cricket to a collaboration with Barstool and a television deal with ESPN: That type stuff wasn’t happening prior to Deion being hired in September 2020. Revenue in Jackson, Mississippi, is also up to $30M, almost double the $16M in 2019.
Deion Sanders earns Eddie Robinson Award; Top Head Coach at the FCS Level
— Jackson State Athletics (@GoJSUTigers) December 14, 2021
Sanders Gives Credit To His Staff And Team Plus Honors Eddie Robinson
Coach Prime was quick to deflect all the attention from himself and give credit to those around him.
“This is a team effort, a valiant effort, it takes a lot, it does not take just me. I know it takes a visionary, but people really have to support the vision. And that’s what we did.”
As for the honor, he had this to say: “Dude — do you know who Eddie Robinson is and was. Eddie Robinson man — that to me is …. That’s astounding. You got me speechless and, you know, I’m good with my mouthpiece.”
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