Jackson State names new football coach after Deion Sanders’ departure

T.C. Taylor will succeed his boss, taking over the football program at Jackson State and becoming its 22nd head football coach.

T.C. Taylor is getting a major promotion: The Jackson State University assistant football coach will succeed his boss, Deion Sanders, taking over the football program at JSU and becoming its 22nd head coach.

According to WAPT News, Sanders — who will complete his tenure with the JSU Tigers after they compete this weekend in the Celebration Bowl in Atlanta, following back-to-back Southwestern Athletic Conference titles — recommended Taylor for the job.

Taylor spent his first two and a half seasons playing quarterback for Jackson State before transitioning to wide receiver. He played both positions from 1998 to 2001. In his 19 games as a receiver, the McComb, Mississippi, native recorded 188 catches for 1,793 yards.

T.C. Taylor, Deion Sanders, Jackson State
T.C. Taylor (seated) will succeed Deion Sanders (standing) as head football coach at Jackson State University. Sanders, who will move on to become the head coach at Colorado University, recommended Taylor, JSU’s assistant coach, for the job. (Photo: Screenshot/YouTube.com/Well Off Media)

“The former JSU quarterback and wide receiver has been a part of the Jackson State football staff since 2019, coaching tight ends and wide receivers, the university said in a news release, according to WAPT, “and has played a key role in an historic run over the past two seasons of Tiger football.”

Taylor shattered the Jackson State single-season record as a senior, amassing 84 receptions for 1,234 yards and 11 touchdowns. In 2001, he finished second to Eli Manning for the Conerly Trophy, awarded to Mississippi’s top college football player.

As The Associated Press reported this month, Sanders will take over as head coach of the Colorado University Buffaloes, a struggling Pac-12 team that has fallen to the bottom of collegiate football. Hours after the Tigers’ Dec. 3 victory over Southern University in the SWAC championship game in Jackson, Mississippi, CU’s director of athletics, Rick George, made the announcement.

The Pro Football Hall of Famer joined JSU, a historically Black college that competes in Division I’s second tier, in 2020. During Sanders’ tenure, the Tigers had a 27-5 record, and he won the SWAC coach of the year award the previous two years.

“In coaching, you either get elevated or you get terminated,” Sanders told his team, according to AP. “There ain’t no graveyard for coaches where they die at the place. They either going to run you off or you going to walk off.”

Sanders is expected to bring along a few players, including his son, quarterback Shedeur Sanders, a sophomore at JSU who has thrown 36 touchdown passes and six interceptions this season.

From 2014 to 2018, Taylor coached at North Carolina Central, where he was the offensive coordinator and the quarterback coach. He returned to JSU as an assistant coach in 2019, according to WAPT.

“Coach Taylor’s experience working with our student-athletes, along with his dedication to support and enhance his alma mater, are exactly what Jackson State University needs to continue to elevate the athletic prowess of our football program,” JSU president Thomas K. Hudson said, WAPT reported. “I look forward to working with him as he continues to build on tradition and blaze new trails.”

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