Oct 28, 2023; Pasadena, California, USA; Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders reacts against the UCLA Bruins in the second half at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado’s Deion Sanders named SI’s Sportsperson of Year

Colorado head coach Deion Sanders was named Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated, the magazine announced Thursday.

The selection of Sanders is a curious one given the Buffaloes followed up a 3-0 start to the season with losses in eight of their final nine games.

Sanders, however, took over a Colorado club that limped to a 1-11 record in 2022 and promptly welcomed players to “go ahead and jump in the portal,” an obvious sign that a roster overhaul was on the way. Accompanying the Pro Football Hall of Famer were others from Jackson State, including his son Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter.

Colorado’s games became appointment-viewing given his star power and over-the-top style. So much so that the team sold out its home games for the season for the first time in history.

“Deion Sanders dominated the sports conversation in 2023 as a transformative figure not just in Colorado, but for the entire realm of college sports,” Stephen Cannella, editor in chief of Sports Illustrated, said in a statement. “On and off the field, he represents a new model for the modern college coach.”

Sanders, 56, was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and six-time All-Pro during his NFL career. He won two Super Bowl titles and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame in 2011.

–Field Level Media