As TCU looks to fill its coaching vacancy, Deion Sanders has emerged in the mix of possible candidates to fill that spot. As Sanders has recovered from foot surgery, he was reportedly interviewed for the gig on Monday and impressed in his interview.
But his Jackson State players and coaches aren’t too concerned over the possibility. According to a report from the Mississippi Clarion Ledger, running backs coach Gary Harrell said the team hasn’t even addressed the interview because “the players did a good job of impressively not even flinching.”
“There were no conversations about it,” Harrell said. “The staff heard about it. We know Coach Prime was pretty much in the hospital and don’t know how that can happen.”
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Sanders announced in a tweet on Wednesday that he was out of the hospital, and said that he is going to continue to follow his doctor’s orders as he works to return to the field. According to the Clarion Ledger, he has missed the past three weeks of games as he recovered from foot surgery, and Harrell has served as the team’s interim coach.
The news of Sanders’ release came just after the Fort Worth Star-Telegram announced that Sanders was in the mix for the job after an interview on Monday, with a source saying that Sanders was expected to reach the second round of interviews.
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Sanders is in his second year coaching with Jackson State, and the Tigers have flourished under him in their second season. During the COVID-shortened 2020 season, Jackson State went just 4-3 but was tied for second in the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s East Division. This season, the Tigers are 8-1 and undefeated in SAC play, though three of those wins have come with Harrell at the helm.
Sanders had previously coached at the high school level in 2012 and was an offensive coordinator at Trinity Christian School in Texas from 2017 until he left for Jackson State in September 2020.
It is unclear whether Sanders will be back to coaching on Saturday in Jackson State’s next game, Harrell told the Clarion Ledger, with the interim coach describing the situation as “day-to-day.”
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TCU is in search of a new coach to steer its program after the school and longtime head coach Gary Patterson mutually parted ways following 11 seasons in Fort Worth.
The Star-Telegram reported that other names in the mix for the position include head coaches Matt Campbell (Iowa State), Billy Napier (Louisiana) and Sonny Dykes (SMU), as well as Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott.