Deion Sanders Accepts Head Coaching Job at University of Colorado and 15 Other Retired NFL Players Doing Big Things Today

Deion Sanders Accepts Head Coaching Job at University of Colorado and 15 Other Retired NFL Players Doing Big Things Today

Deion Sanders is one of the many retired NFL players turning to coaching in their post-playing career. It all started when he became the head coach at Prime Prep Academy – a school co-founded by him. He was then head coach of Triple A Academy before becoming offensive coordinator for Trinity Christian HS.

After coaching his sons for several years at Trinity Christian, Sanders broke the internet when he became the head coach at Jackson State University – one of the largest HBCU’s in the United States – in 2020. He coached them to a 27-5 record over the past three years, including a perfect 12-0 record this season. 

On December 3rd, he broke the internet yet again when he decided to leave his job at Jackson State to become the head coach at the University of Colorado. It’ll be the first NCAA Division I FBS head coaching job of his career as he continues to climb the ranks. Will Primetime rise to the occasion? Or will he fail?

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Other Retired NFL Players Doing Big Things Today

Deion Sanders Accepts Head Coaching Job at University of Colorado and 15 Other Retired NFL Players Doing Big Things Today
via Instagram (@mspear96)

So far, Deion Sanders has shown an incredible ability to lead young men to success. He definitely has the knowledge, he has more than enough experience, and no one is questioning his passion. With so many retired NFL players struggling to make ends meet in their post-playing days, it’s good to see Deion on top.

The Colorado Buffaloes joined the Pac-12 Conference in 2011. They haven’t won a division championship since 2016, a conference championship since 2001, or a bowl game since 2004. Deion will be pinned up against some of the best schools in the nation, including Utah, USC, Oregon, Washington, and more. 

For now, Deion Sanders is preparing to coach his team in the SWAC championship on Saturday – his final game with Jackson State before heading to Colorado for good. That might seem like a world away, but let’s pass the time by taking a look at some of the other retired NFL players doing big things today. 

15. Pat McAfee

Pat McAfee was a punter who spent eight seasons in the NFL – all of which with the Indianapolis Colts. He was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the seventh round (No. 222 overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft. In 127 career games played, he punted the ball 575 times for 26,653 yards – his longest punt was 75 yards.

Today, McAfee is one of the best personalities when it comes to football analysts. He is absolutely killin’ it with his The Pat McAfee Show on YouTube and can also be seen on ESPN’s College Gameday as a college football analyst. He even signed a contract to be a color commentator for the WWE in 2019. 

14. Ryan Fitzpatrick

Ryan Fitzpatrick was a quarterback who spent 17 years in the NFL with nine different teams. He played in 166 games and started in 147 of them – leading his teams to a 59-87-1 record as starter. He retired after the 2021 season with 34,990 yards, 223 touchdowns, 169 interceptions, and 21 rushing TDs. 

Earlier this year, Fitzpatrick signed a contract to be an analyst for Amazon Prime’s Thursday Night Football pregame and postgame show. He joins several other retired NFL players doing big things today – including Andrew Whitworth, Richard Sherman, and Tony Gonzalez. They all had incredible careers. 

13. Myron Rolle

Myron Rolle didn’t have as good of a career in the NFL as the others on this list, but he also took a much more unique path than most other retired NFL players. It all started when he retired from the league after just three seasons with the Titans and Steelers – during that time, he never once appeared in a game. 

Rolle enrolled at the Florida State University College of Medicine in 2013 and graduated four years later. After a neurosurgery residency, he eventually became a Global Neurosurgery Fellow at Harvard Medical School. Not many retired NFL players can say they became a neurosurgeon in their post-playing days.

12. Eddie George

Eddie George was drafted by the Houston Oilers with the No. 14 overall pick in the 1996 NFL Draft. In nine seasons, he played in 141 games and totaled 10,441 rushing yards, 2,227 receiving yards, and 78 total touchdowns. He was a four-time Pro Bowl running back and was Offensive Rookie of the Year. 

On April 13, 2021, George signed a five-year contract to be the new head coach at Tennessee State University. Over the past two seasons, he has led the team to a 9-13 record. It’s his first time coaching and he’s still figuring things out, but I think he has a good future as a coach – at some level, at least. 

11. Ryan Clark

Ryan Clark spent 13 seasons in the NFL between 2002 and 2014 with the Stelers, Redskins, and Giants. In 177 games played, he recorded 938 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 55 passes defensed, and 16 interceptions. He was a Pro Bowl safety and even won a Super Bowl in 2009. 

Ever since signing a contract with ESPN upon his retirement from the NFL, Clark has been a vital piece to the network – and not just in football. He makes frequent appearances on NFL Live, SportsCenter, Get Up!, First Take, and more. He also has an MMA podcast with Daniel Cormier titled DC & RC on ESPN.

10. Troy Aikman

Troy Aikman was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys with the No. 1 overall pick in 1989. He spent 12 years in the NFL, throwing for 32,942 yards and 165 touchdowns in 165 games – he had a 94-71-0 record as a starter. He was a six-time Pro Bowl quarterback, three-time Super Bowl champion, and Hall of Famer. 

After retiring from the NFL, Aikman joined FOX as a color commentator and spent 20 years alongside Joe Buck as they became one of the NFL’s best duos in the booth. Earlier this year, they switched over to ESPN for their Monday Night Football broadcast and have been competing with the Manning brothers. 

9. Eli Manning

Eli Manning was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2004 – originally going to the Chargers, but was traded to the NY Giants. He spent his entire 16-year career in the NFL with the team, throwing for 57,023 yards and 366 touchdowns in that time. He won two Super Bowl championships and two Super Bowl MVPs. 

Ever since the start of the 2021 season, Eli has teamed up with his brother to form the ManningCast for ESPN – a sort of talk show that happens during the Monday Night Football game. Not only that, but Eli has been hosting Eli’s Places on ESPN – a TV series highlighted around college football across the US.

8. Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 1998 and spent 13 years with the Colts before playing four years with the Broncos. He had a 186-79-0 record as a starting QB, throwing for 71,940 yards and 539 touchdowns. The two-time Super Bowl winner was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year. 

Like we described with his younger brother above, Peyton has teamed up with Eli since 2021 for ESPN’s ManningCast. He had a show called Peyton’s Places – which is where Eli got the idea from – for three seasons. Peyton also hosted the 2017 ESPYs and co-hosted the 2022 CMA Awards with Luke Bryan.

7. Mike Vrabel

Mike Vrabel was a third-round draft choice of the Steelers in 1997 and spent 14 seasons in the NFL – also playing for the Patriots and Chiefs. He was a Pro Bowl linebacker with the Patriots in 2007 and retired with 762 tackles, 63 tackles for loss, 57.0 sacks, 19 forced fumbles, and 11 interceptions. 

Upon his retirement, Vrabel began a coaching career at Ohio State – he was a linebackers coach. He made the move up to the NFL in 2014 when the Texans hired him as a LB coach. He has been the head coach of the Titans since 2018, leading them to a 48-30 record, and was Coach of the Year last season. 

6. Terry Crews

Much like Myron Rolle from above, Terry Crews didn’t exactly have an illustrious career in the NFL. He was an 11th-round draft choice of the Rams in 1991 and played in 32 games over the next four years with five different teams. He only recorded three total tackles on defense, two of which came in 1995. 

In 1997, Crews announced his retirement from football as he looked to pursue a career in acting. That career has gone much better for him, becoming one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors. He has been featured in a number of big TV shows and films, and is currently the host of America’s Got Talent. 

5. Dan Campbell

Dan Campbell was drafted by the New York Giants in the third round in 1999. He spent 10 years in the NFL, eventually retiring in 2009 with 91 catches for 934 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was never really a featured tight end, but his passion for the game ran deep and that’s what he was most known for.

Campbell began his coaching career with the Miami Dolphins in 2010 and was later named interim head coach in 2015. He became an assistant head coach in New Orleans before being hired as head coach of the Detroit Lions in 2021. The team went 3-13 last season, but have improved greatly this year at 6-7.

4. Michael Strahan

Michael Strahan was a second round draft choice of the New York Giants in 1993 and spent his entire 15-year career with the team between 1993 and 2007. He retired with 854 tackles, 141.5 sacks, 24 forced fumbles, 4 interceptions, and 3 touchdowns. He was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2001. 

Since retiring, Strahan has become one of the biggest personalities on TV – not just as a football analyst, but as a daytime TV host. You can see him on Fox NFL Sunday talking football, or on Good Morning America throughout the week. He’s also the host of ABC’s Pyramid game show – he seems to do it all!

3. Tony Romo

Tony Romo went undrafted out of college, but eventually signed with the Dallas Cowboys – where he spent his entire 13-year career in the NFL. During that time, he had a 78-49-0 record as starter and threw for 34,183 yards and 248 TDs. He was a four-time Pro Bowl QB, but never played well in the playoffs.

In addition to the flurry of commercials he’s in, Romo is one of the best color analysts in the NFL right now. He joined CBS Sports shortly after retiring and has continued to put his bright football mind to the task each and every week. His predictions and ability to read the flow of the game is incredible. 

2. John Lynch

John Lynch was a third-round draft pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1993 and spent the next 11 years with the team before playing his final four years with the Broncos. The Hall of Fame safety retired with 1,059 tackles, 13.0 sacks, 26 interceptions, 16 forced fumbles, and nine Pro Bowl selections. 

Lynch spent the decade following his retirement behind the booth, establishing himself as a quality color commentator for NFL on Fox. In 2017, he was hired as the new GM of the San Francisco 49ers. The team is 49-46-0 since becomingGM, including an NFC Championship and one Super Bowl appearance.

1. Marcus Spears

Marcus Spears was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys with the No. 20 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft and spent the next eight years with the team before finishing his career in Baltimore. He retired with 236 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, and 3 forced fumbles in 124 games played – including 90 games started. 

Over the past seven years, Spears has built quite a career for himself in front of the camera. He started off with a show about hunting, fishing, and more before making regular appearances on the SEC Network to talk football. He’s now one of the biggest personalities ESPN has – properly referred to as ‘Swagu.’ 

Retired NFL Players Still Have So Much Left to Give

Every year, the NFL sees several high-profile players announce their retirement from the league. It’s a sentimental moment for some, considering they’ve poured their entire childhood and adulthood into the sport. The No. 1 question on their mind at that point is – what’s next? Some know, while others don’t. 

Not everyone is as lucky as Tom Brady, who already has a 10-year, $350 million contract lined up to be the lead football analyst for FOX Sports when he decides to retire. Some retired NFL players will go on to change their career path, some will get stuck with a 9-to-5 job, and some will enjoy their new freedom. 

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With that said, we can turn our attention to some of the soon-to-be retired NFL players – such as Cameron Heyward, Jason Kelce, Calais Campbell, J.J. Watt, Joe Flacco, and so many more. No matter what happens, we hope retired NFL players get to continue living out their dream post-football.

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