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Coach Prime: Deion Sanders and the Making of Men
Coach Prime by Jean-Jacques Taylor
by Jean-Jacques Taylor

Hardback. First Edition.

Price: $28.99


New York, NY: Harper Collins | Mariner Books (October 24th 2023)

First Edition. Hardback.

New in dust jacket.

An electrifying and poignant insider account of the Fall 22 season at Jackson State University, where NFL legend Deion Sanders coached the team to a near-perfect season, and along the way, attracted the nation’s top recruit, ushered in an HBCU resurgence, and revived the spirit of a small, Southern town.

“We have to win on the field. We have to win in the classroom. We have to win in the community. We have to win at home for our families. Then we have to win as men. The thing we’re trying to do is not just about football here at Jackson State. We gotta win at every category of life and not only that, but we have to dominate.”—Deion Sanders aka Coach Prime

Back in the day, Jackson State University boasted one of the finest football programs in the nation. It was the home of NFL Hall of Famer Walter Payton and a top pick for the country’s best and brightest student-athletes. But over the years, powerhouse teams and conferences came calling, and Jackson State and other historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, became a lot less attractive. Their facilities weren't as sophisticated, their boosters and alumni not as moneyed, their television coverage not on the major networks—if there was coverage at all. For gifted student-athletes, HBCUs no longer offered a road to the pros.

Enter Deion Sanders, one of the most iconic and spectacular football players in NFL history.

Moved by the national racial reckoning of 2020, when he had one son in college and another about to start, Sanders made an unconventional decision. He became head coach of the Jackson State Tigers in Jackson, Mississippi. Some celebrated Sanders’ move to an HBCU; others were confused. Why a small Black school in a poor Black town where they have to fight for clean water? For Sanders, that was the point.

In his two full seasons as head coach at JSU, Sanders brought new, positive energy to HBCUs by attracting five-star recruits, a new donor class, higher game attendance, hope and economic influx into the surrounding town, and a loving, steadfast commitment to teaching young athletes to become amazing men.

Now, with access that no other reporter was granted, sports journalist Jean-Jacques Taylor takes readers inside one full season of JSU Tigers football to show the heart, mind, and dominance of America's most daring football coach and his team of would-be champions.

Jean-Jacques Taylor is an award-winning journalist and president of JJT Media Group. He is a frequent contributor to ESPN, where he covers HBCU football and is a frequent guest on their airwaves and podcast verticals. Prior to that, he was a sports columnist at the Dallas Morning-News. He has covered 25 Super Bowls, two World Series, two NBA Finals, a Stanley Cup Finals, the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and a host of special moments, such as Emmitt Smith breaking the all-time NFL rushing record.

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