Colorado officially unveiled Deion ‘Coach Prime’ Sanders as the program’s 28th head coach Saturday night.

Sanders had just wrapped up a SWAC championship for Jackson State. His hire has long been rumored as the likely end result of CU’s coaching search, which has been ongoing since Karl Dorrel was fired on Oct. 2.

Sanders will replace Dorrell, who replaced Mel Tucker. Colorado is believed to be the first FBS program to ever hire three consecutive Black head football coaches.

CU is also the only FBS program to have hired four Black head football coaches (Jon Embree, 2011-12).

Last summer, ESPN conducted a thorough analysis of the hiring practices of Power Five athletic departments since 1981 — the year Dennis Green became the first Black head coach of a P5 football program (Northwestern).

That research found that 35 of the 65 P5 schools (of which Notre Dame was included) had never hired a Black head coach, including none of the last four national champions (Alabama, LSU, Clemson, Ohio State). It also found that nearly 70% of P5 programs (45 total) have never been led by a Black athletic director, including nine in the Big 12 and 11 in the SEC.

According to ESPN’s research, Colorado is one of only four P5 programs to ever hire back-to-back Black head coaches. Northwestern, Stanford, and Vanderbilt are the other programs to have done so.

At Jackson State, Sanders gained acclaim as an advocate for additional exposure and a level playing field for all Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). In March 2022, Sanders held a Pro Day featuring athletes from four other schools in the state of Mississippi in front of 22 NFL teams and the Canadian Football League. In April 2022, Jackson State became the first HBCU to have its spring football game televised live nationally on ESPNU.

ESPN’s College GameDay visited Jackson State for a game this season. He also pulled off one of the largest Signing Day stunners we’ve ever seen when he flipped the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit, Travis Hunter, from his commitment to Florida State and brought him to Jackson State.

“Deion Sanders’ stature transcends sports, and his hiring elevates not only the football program but the university as a whole,” said CU Boulder Chancellor Philip DiStefano in a statement.  “I’m thankful Deion has chosen to join our Buffalo family and I applaud Rick George for a truly inspired choice.”