At long last, Deion Sanders has announced his initial coaching staff at Jackson State.
Many of these staff members were reported ahead of time, others are being revealed for the first time today. In public appearances since his Sept. 21 hiring, Sanders stated on numerous occasions his staff would have a collective 84 years of NFL experience; we counted 72 years, including Deion's own 14-year career. Not quite what Coach Prime touted, but still far above anyone else in the SWAC.
"We have a great group of coaches, and I'm thrilled they've decided to join me on this journey at Thee I Love Jackson State University," Sanders said. "We have a group of men that will serve as mentors in the field of competition and in the classroom. This staff knows how to win and win at a consistent level."
Financial terms for the new staff were not disclosed.
In addition to piecing together a new staff, Sanders is also at work assembling what will be one of the best recruiting classes in the SWAC's modern history, headlined by his son, 4-star quarterback Shedeur Sanders.
The staff breaks down as follows:
Michael Pollock: Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach
Spent 2019 as the head coach at Lincoln County High School in Georgia, leading the club to the state quarterfinals.
Dennis Thurman: Defensive coordinator
Most recently the defensive coordinator for the AAF's Memphis Express, Thurman also ran defenses for the Jets and Bills and coached defensive backs for the Ravens -- he was Deion's position coach in his brief time there -- Cardinals, Jets and USC.
Alan Ricard: Special teams coordinator
Ricard spent parts of nine seasons as an NFL running back -- also overlapping with Deion in Baltimore -- he spent 2016-19 at ULM and 2015 at Nicholls.
Mike Markuson: Offensive line coach
A longtime lieutenant of Houston Nutt, Markuson is best known in the 'Sip for his 2007-12 run as Ole Miss's co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He coached offensive lines for Austin Peay, Alabama A&M, Murray State, Boise State, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Eastern Illinois, UTSA and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Gary "Flea" Harrell: Running backs coach
The most immediately qualified member of Deion's staff to coach in the SWAC in 2020, Harrell comes over from Alabama State, where he also worked as running backs coach. He coached wide receivers at Florida Atlantic prior to that.
Kevin Mathis: Defensive backs coach
A former Cowboys teammate of Prime's, Mathis joins his head coach from Trinity Christian High School in Cedar Hill, Texas. He also worked under Deion at Prime Prep Academy.
Andre' Hart: Linebackers coach
Another traveler from Trinity Christian, Hart was actually the Tigers' head coach but will work under his former offensive coordinator at Jackson State. He previously coached at Ranger Junior College and Kansas State.
Jeff Weeks: Defensive line coach
A veteran coach of the high school, college and NFL levels, Weeks worked most recently as the linebackers coach for the Buffalo Bills in the Rex Ryan era.
TC Taylor: Tight ends coach
A holdover from the previous staff, Taylor was appointed interim head coach before Sanders's hiring and was a candidate for the job that ultimately went to his new boss.
Otis Riddley: Recruiting coordinator
Another holdover from the previous staff, Riddley coached Jackson State's offensive line in 2019 and owns deep connections in the Mississippi junior college and high school ranks.
Jackson State begins its 8-game spring schedule on Feb. 21 with a home game against Edward Waters College.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.