Deion Sanders Image Credit: ShutterStock

The Coach Prime Money Train Keeps Rolling for Colorado


To borrow a line from Jay-Z, Deion Sanders isn’t a businessman, he’s a business, man.

From the moment Coach Prime announced he was leaving Jackson, Mississippi for Boulder, Colorado, the money train has flowed west.

Sanders signed a 5-year, $29.5 million contract to become Colorado’s new head coach, a number that didn’t include bonuses or incentives. That means his first-year salary of $5.5 million dwarfs his entire earnings from his two seasons at Jackson St. This contract is also, as Colorado athletic director Rick George revealed to the Denver Post, the largest deal ever given to a Buffaloes head coach.

Deion’s hefty contract includes a $500,000 base salary, $1.75 million for radio, television and public appearances, $1.75 million for promotion and fundraising and $1.5 million for “development of the student-athlete.”

His compensation then increases to $5.7 million, $5.9 million, $6.1 million and $6.3 million in years two, three, four and five, respectively.

A little discussed part of that contract, which is surfacing now, is that Sanders was given $5 million to assemble his support and assistant coaches staff.

That is also a school program record.

Deion’s 10 full-time football assistants will make a combined $4.59 million this season and $4.95 million in 2024. At the top of the list are offensive coordinator Sean Lewis and defensive coordinator Charles Kelly, who each signed three-year, $2.7 million deals.

When these details were finally revealed, some questioned whether he was worth it and if the school could afford it. After all, the Buffaloes have only had one winning season since joining the Pac-12 in 2011 (10-4 in 2016) and its last winning season prior to 2011 was in 2005 when the team went 7-6 while in the Big 12.

Deion was also taking over a 1-11 team. A daunting task for any coach, one which many would probably not even consider.

But Deion Sanders is built different.

After being hired on December 3rd, a media frenzy ensued and sales of officially licensed Colorado products skyrocketed a ridiculous 700% YOY.

Yet it wasn’t all good for everyone in Boulder as many in the program were either told to transfer or decided to move on.

According to David Ubben of The Athletic, “a total of 51 Buffaloes have entered or said they plan to since the portal first opened in December – 46 since Sanders took over Dec. 2. No other program has lost more than 29 players.”

While astounding, the process isn’t illegal or an NCAA rules violation. And because of a previous rule change eliminating the previous cap of 25 transfers, Sanders was able to accept 29 transfers.

And this purge did nothing to affect Deion’s popularity, as evidenced by the Buffaloes’ spring game.

Continue reading over at First and Pen.

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