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Deion Luwynn Sanders is a college football coach, former professional football player, and baseball player. Sanders was born on August 9, 1967, to Connie and Mims Sanders in Fort Myers, Florida. Sanders’s parents divorced when he was two years old and his mother married Willie Knight, who became his stepfather.
Sanders became involved with organized baseball and football at the age of eight. He attended North Fort Myers High School in North Fort Myers, Florida and while there he became an all-state standout in football, basketball, and baseball. He was nicknamed “Primetime” by a friend who saw him score 30 points in a high school basketball game. In 1985, the year he graduated from North Fort Myers High School, he was named to the Florida High School Association All-Century Team.
Sanders enrolled in Florida State University where he played on the Florida State Seminoles football, baseball, and track teams. Sanders became a two-time All-American Cornerback (1987 and 1988) and won the Jim Thrope Award in 1988. Sanders also helped the Seminoles win the 1989 Sugar Bowl against the Auburn (Alabama) Tigers after he made an interception with five seconds left to seal the win. Sanders declared himself eligible for the 1989 NFL Draft and was the fifth pick overall by the Atlanta Falcons.
Remaining with the Falcons until 1993, Sanders became a free agent and signed with the San Francisco 49ers in the 1994 season. During that season, Sanders earned the Defensive Player of the Year Award and help the 49ers defeat the San Diego Chargers (Now Los Angeles Changers) in Super Bowl 29. Sanders signed with the Dallas Cowboys the following year and helped his new team win Super Bowl 30 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sanders remained with the Cowboys until the end of the 1999 season and then signed with the Washington Redskins (now the Washington Commanders) during the 2000 season. He retired at the end of the season at the age of 33.
In 2004, Sanders made a brief comeback in the NFL, playing for the Baltimore Ravens before retiring a second, final time in 2005. During his years in the NFL, Sanders was an eight-time pro bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion. In 2011, he was inducted into the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame.
Sanders also had a professional baseball career, playing for several Major League Baseball teams including the New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants, and Cincinnati Reds. The high point of Sanders’s MLB career came when he helped lead the Braves to the 1992 World Series, where they lost in six games to the Toronto Blue Jays.
In 2020, Sanders became head coach of the Jackson State University Tigers Football Team in Jackson, Mississippi. Sanders coached the team for three seasons, with his best season coming in 2022, where his team had an undefeated regular season (12-0) but lost to North Carolina Central University in the Celebration Bowl game in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2023, Sanders left Jackson State to become head coach of the University of Colorado Boulder Buffaloes Football Team.
In 2021, Sanders underwent several foot surgeries and had toes on his left foot amputated as a result of blood clots. He had similar surgery in 2023. Sanders has been twice married, first to Carolyn Chambers (1989-1998) and later to Pilar Biggers-Sanders (1999-2015). Sanders has five children, including his son, Sheduer Sanders, the current Quarterback of the Colorado Buffaloes.
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“Deion Sanders,” Biography, https://www.biography.com/athlete/deion-sanders; “Deion Sanders,” Jackson State University Tigers, https://gojsutigers.com/sports/football/roster/coaches/deion-sanders/111; Jean-Jacques Taylor, Coach Prime: Deion Sanders and the Making of Men (New York City, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2013); “Deion Sanders,” Sportsskeedia, https://www.sportskeeda.com/nfl/deion-sanders.