JSU fans reflect on Coach Prime’s tenure in the capital city

Published: Dec. 4, 2022 at 10:56 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - It’s the end of an era.

After three years at the helm of Jackson State University’s football team, Deion Sanders leaves the program after becoming two-time SWAC Champions Saturday night.

“I was there for all four games. The atmosphere was amazing. Yesterday, the atmosphere was a little different. It was almost like a little disconnected,” Patricia Whitfield said.

Shortly after the Tigers accepted their trophy, Coach Prime announced he’d accepted the head coaching job at the University of Colorado. Fans, alumni, and city leaders say his legacy will be missed.

“I hate to see him go, you know, I’m happy for the opportunities that he’s brought us and has shown us and I wish him back. Very sad,” Lanora Lundy said.

“Just the synergy, the energy, the pride, and, and a new belief, a new belief that we could have certain things that we weren’t, we were told we couldn’t have. We could do things that we were told we couldn’t do,” Yolanda Clay-Moore, director of communications at Visit Jackson.

Coach Prime’s financial impact on the capital city didn’t go unnoticed.

Clay-Moore says JSU’s four home games brought in $16.2 million for the city this season, up from $7.2 million in 2017.

“He has had a huge economic impact on the city of Jackson, with Jackson State University, and even beyond to HBCUs as a whole,” she stated.

As he leaves the Magnolia State, JSU fans say whoever comes next, will have some big shoes to fill.

“The university must make a great decision of who they hire. Just like hotels, were full this football season. If we do not have the right person, they are more empty,” city of Jackson Councilman Kenneth Stokes said.

“It can’t just be no ‘average Joe’, it’s gonna have to be somebody that believes like I say, in God, first believe in themselves. And, you know, have great leadership skills and have character,” Whitfield stated.

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