The successor for Deion Sanders has been announced. The 22nd head coach in the history of Jackson State football will be T.C. Taylor, school vice president and athletic director Ashley Robinson announced on Dec. 13. The hire falls in line with Robinson’s catchphrase, “Building on Tradition, Blazing New Trails.”
Taylor was a quarterback and wide receiver for the Tigers from 1998-2001, including the 1999 team that featured two 2000 NFL Draft first-round picks Sylvester Morris and the late Rashard Anderson. Before JSU’s game-changing Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders era, both Morris and Anderson suggested the program hire Taylor as the head coach because he understands the team’s rich history and culture. Taylor joined the Jackson State football coaching staff in 2019 after coming over from North Carolina Central. Taylor and Otis Riddley were the only two staffers who remained once Sanders was hired in September 2020.
“T.C.’s passion and love for Jackson State University is unquestioned,” Robinson said in the school’s official announcement. “His fervent desire and hunger to lead his alma mater as head coach is unparalleled. His standard of excellence as a player as a JSU Tiger and his career trajectory as an assistant coach has prepared him for this opportunity. His vision and plan to continue the championship excellence of Jackson State football elevated him to the top of the search process. I look forward to him leading our program in 2023 and into the future.”
Taylor signed with the New England Patriots and Detroit Lions for brief stints in 2002 and 2003 before retiring due to nagging injuries.
The former assistant was Sanders’ recommendation to replace him. In one of Sanders’ early games at Jackson State, it was Taylor he leaned on to turn around the team’s offense.
“God is good, man,” Taylor told the team, in a video uploaded by Thee Pregame Show. “I paid my dues. Patient. Letting God order my steps. Humble, it got me here today. For real. Family, y’all my family … ever since I got into coaching, this has been a dream of mine, man. To get this opportunity? To lead in the place where I grew up? Played in the stadium you guys played in? Now you say I’m the 22nd head coach? It means something to me, man.”
To kick off the Taylor era, Holmes Community College quarterback Philip Short announced his commitment to Jackson State. With current quarterback Shedeur Sanders expected to follow his father to the University of Colorado, Short puts his name in the hat of potential successors after averaging 247 passing yards a game, and throwing 15 touchdowns to eight interceptions.
Perhaps even a bigger recruiting splash was former Oregon running back Seven McGee coming to the Tigers.
“Ready to shock the world!” McGee tweeted before committing to JSU.