Jackson State University head football coach Deion Sanders speaks to media during a press conference at JSU’s Walter Payton Recreation and Wellness Center in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. Photo Credit: Eric Shelton/Clarion Ledger via Imagn Content Services, LLC
Deion Sanders has been determined to build a powerhouse since he was hired at Jackson State two years ago, and the Hall of Famer has made another major addition to his staff.
Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has accepted a position as an analyst at Jackson State. Zimmer was introduced on Tuesday as part of an exclusive interview with Thee Pregame Show. He spoke about his relationship with Sanders and how excited he is to work with him.
“He’s asked me about it a few times,” Zimmer said, as transcribed by Steven J. Gaither of HBCU Gameday. “The pay’s not good, but I do love Deion and I’d do anything for him.”
Zimmer and Sanders have a long history together. Zimmer was a defensive assistant with the Dallas Cowboys in the 1990s when Sanders was a star for the team. The longtime coach said the two have visited each other’s homes and enjoyed a great friendship since.
Zimmer said he admires the job Sanders has done at Jackson State. He believes the Tigers could compete with the top programs in the nation if they had the funding.
“(Sanders) can open up so many doors for these young men but I’m extremely impressed with the way he’s teaching them about life and not just football,” Zimmer said. “And taking care of them, and talking to them about the real things that go on in the world and not the fluff stuff.”
The gig is almost certainly a temporary one for Zimmer, who spent the last eight seasons as a head coach in the NFL. He was a defensive coordinator in the league for more than a decade prior to that. While his tenure in Minnesota featured a bit of a rocky finish, the 66-year-old Zimmer should have chances to coach in the NFL again if he wants to go that route.
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