CU Buffs’ Deion Sanders says players “in great hands” with new staff – The Denver Post

There is no question that Deion Sanders is the leader of the Colorado football program.

He is far from the only leader in the building, however.

Hired as CU’s head coach on Dec. 3, Sanders quickly assembled his coaching staff and did so with experience and leadership in mind.

“(The players) are in great hands. Not good hands, they’re in great hands,” Sanders said during an interview with Thee Pregame Show posted on YouTube on Monday.

Sanders’ staff includes multiple former college head coaches, one former high school head coach and several with years of experience as coordinators.

“That insulates me tremendously,” Sanders told Thee Pregame Show about surrounding himself with experienced coaches. “Some of the guys that hadn’t been head coaches, they’re capable. They’ve run programs or they’ve been the guy right next to the guy that are very capable of running a program. I’m tremendously insulated in regards to a navigational system of when, what and how and why.”

CU’s on-field coaching staff includes four former head coaches among the five on offense.

Offensive coordinator Sean Lewis came to CU after five seasons as the head coach at Kent State. Tight ends coach Tim Brewster (Minnesota), running backs coach Gary Harrell (Howard) and offensive line coach Bill O’Boyle (Chadron State) are also former college head coaches.

Linebackers coach Andre’ Hart was a successful head coach at Trinity Christian (Texas) High School. Vincent Dancy, the head coach at Mississippi Valley State the past five seasons, is also on the CU staff as an analyst.

In addition to that group, defensive coordinator Charles Kelly has 14 years of experience as a college coordinator and quality control analyst Dennis Thurman has nine years experience as a defensive coordinator. Thurman’s experience includes coordinator stops with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and New York Jets and the past three years at Jackson State.

“Taggart’s coming too, by the way,” Sanders said in the video. “Coach Zim is coming too, by the way. Another two head coaches.”

Sanders is referring to Willie Taggart and Mike Zimmer, who are expected to have support roles with the Buffs, although their roles haven’t been announced.

Taggart was let go as Florida Atlantic’s head coach last month. He has been a head coach for the past 13 seasons at five different schools (Western Kentucky, South Florida, Oregon, Florida State and FAU).

Zimmer worked this past season as an analyst at Jackson State with Sanders. Prior to that, he was the head coach of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings for eight seasons (2014-21). From 2000-13, he was a defensive coordinator in the NFL, for the Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals. When Sanders played for the Cowboys from 1995-99, Zimmer was his position coach.

It wasn’t Sanders’ goal to simply collect former head coaches, though.

“Forget the titles,” he said. “They know this game and they know kids and they’ve been capable of making tremendous decisions with the kids and the young men in mind. That’s what I adore the most.”

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Sanders has not only built an experienced staff since being hired. He and that staff are also building an impressive recruiting class. Combining high school recruits and transfers, CU’s class ranks 20th nationally by

With CU coming off a 1-11 season, Sanders reiterated to Thee Pregame Show that he’s not interested in building a winner over time. He’s aiming to win big this year.

“I’ve never settled for anything in life,” he said. “I’ve never settled for mediocrity in any realm in life. That’s why baseball was so hard for me, to know you could fail seven out of 10 times and still remain to be a superstar. That bothered me, failing that much. I’ve never been one to settle. I’ve never been one to allow complacency in myself, first and foremost, and others. But to live in the world of mediocrity. I don’t know how that works.

“I’m committed to these young men and this staff and this community and our (athletic director), Rick George. I’m committed to this wholeheartedly. I’m in it. I can’t stop.”

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