TCU coaching search: Deion Sanders ‘in the mix’ among candidates to replace Gary Patterson, per report

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TCU Football has a wildcard candidate who is reportedly starting to have serious consideration to replace Gary Patterson. Jackson State coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders is apparently still in talks between candidates to become the next Horned Frogs coach, the report said. Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“I’m not saying he will get the job, nor am I saying he’s the leading candidate right now,” a source told the newspaper. Star-Telegram. “But he’s in the mix.”

Sanders became the coach at HBCU Jackson State in September 2020 and has quickly led the program to national headlines with his dynamic recruiting. Jackson State signed the No. 55 recruiting class in the nation in 2021, ahead of FBS programs like Iowa State, UCF, and BYU. Even TCU ended up with the No. 53 recruiting class due to a transfer heavy group.

The Tigers have found quick success in Sanders’ first full season, taking 8-1 and a 6-0 record in SWAC play. Sanders’ son Shedeur – a former executive who chose JSU over big offers – leads the team with 2,414 yards passing, 23 touchdowns and three interceptions.

Sanders is also notable in the Metroplex after the infamous Prime Prep charter school debacle. Prime Prep was a high school founded by Sanders who later faced federal investigation after falling quickly into financial insolvency. He served as the offensive coordinator at Trinity Christian School in Cedar Hill, Texas, from 2017-20 before getting the job at Jackson State. TC-Cedar Hill was fired from the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools in 2019 after a series of allegations.

Sanders has missed the last three games after having surgery on his foot, according to the The Clarion Ledger. He coached on a scooter for several weeks after surgery in September before doctors asked him to focus on his rest. Running backs coach Gary Harrell led the program to victories over Texas Southern, Mississippi Valley State and Bethune-Cookman in the absence of Sanders.

Other coaches consistently named in the TCU coaching quest include SMU head coach Sonny Dykes and Louisiana head coach Billy Napier.

TCU and longtime coach Patterson split on October 31 after 22 seasons together. Assistant and former Minnesota coach Jerry Kill took over on an interim basis, leading the Horned Frogs to a 30-28 win over Baylor in the first game after Patterson’s departure.

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