Deion Sanders explains why he won’t coach in the NFL: ‘I would be too tough as a coach’

By Kevin Skiver

Deion Sanders is already one of the polarizing coaches in college football, and he hasn’t coached a game at Colorado yet. His method of coming in and cleaning house has proven to be controversial, and some college coaches such as Pat Narduzzi have taken issue with Sanders’ reliance on the transfer portal.

Sanders is clearly someone who understands optics, even if he seems to ignore them at times. His leaving Jackson State for Colorado was always going to look a certain way, as was the way he came barreling into Colorado.

However, Sanders has said he doesn’t intend to take his controversial coaching style to the next level, saying he has “no ambition” to move to the NFL.

“I don’t have any desire or ambition to coach in the NFL,” Sanders said, per Sports Illustrated. “I have a problem with men getting their checks and not doing their jobs. I would be too tough as a coach in the NFL because I still have those old-school attributes.”

It’s clear Sanders is aware NFL players may not respond as well to his no-nonsense style as college athletes do. Indeed, we haven’t even seen his coaching prowess at the Power 5 level yet.

With that in mind, Sanders may be putting the cart before the horse a bit. He was never going to jump straight to professional coaching from the SWAC, and after the disastrous Urban Meyer to Jacksonville experiment, NFL teams may be a bit reticent to go for a coach whose style is similar to the former Ohio State leader.

This quote is, however, consistent with what Sanders has said about coaching at the pro level in the past.

“Not one bit,” Sanders said when asked if he had an interest in coaching in the NFL on 60 Minutes in 2022. “It’s hard for me to coach a person that makes a lot of money that does not truly love the game that blessed me. And I don’t want to go to jail … because I’m going to jump somebody. I will come out of halftime with half team. We’ll go in and half the team will come out after halftime.”

If nothing else, Sanders knows himself. That isn’t going to change. Whether the NFL is what he has in his sights next — and he would be wise to continue to be cautious of a jump -— Sanders is going to have to succeed at Colorado before he thinks about any next stops in his already-successful coaching career.

This story first appeared in the Sporting News before reposting on