The 2022 collegiate regular season is barely finished and already several of your fellow alums are making news as they travel to new campuses for head coaching jobs.
Super Bowl XXXV champion quarterback Trent Dilfer made the big jump from high school to the college ranks when he was named late last month the seventh head coach at The University Of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB).
Dilfer just completed his fourth season at Lipscomb Academy in Nashville where he led his team to the state finals three straight years. The 50-year-old Dilfer began coaching high school ball after a successful nine-year career as an NFL analyst on ESPN.
Dilfer at his initial UAB press conference sounded confident but he also is aware of what this jump to college ball will mean for himself and his family.
“I make very few promises,” said Dilfer, who played for five teams during his 14-year (1994-2007) NFL career. “but this promise I will make. You will get the best from me because I have had some of the greatest people in the game influence me. I will be relentless in my work ethic and passionate about what I do. The net of it all will be an era of UAB football that many couldn’t possibly ever imagine.”
Another big coaching change occurred last Sunday when Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders was announced as the new head coach at the University of Colorado in Boulder. The Buffaloes have struggled on the field for more than two decades, including this past season when they finished 1-11.
Sanders, who has been head coach at Jackson State the last three seasons, displayed his typical “modesty” at the initial press conference last weekend.
“We’re really going to be good,” said Sanders. “It is my job, my business and my dream to bring you back to where you know you belong. We’re here not just to compete but to win…we’re here to work, not to play.”
Sanders has one final piece of business at Jackson State where his record was 27-5 in three seasons. Sanders will coach the Tigers one last time on December 17 in the Celebration Bowl in Atlanta against North Carolina Central, another HBCU school.
Finally, Jeff Brohm, a Louisville native who played quarterback at the University of Louisville from 1989-93, is returning to his alma mater as head coach of the Cardinals. Brohm was undrafted coming out of college but played quarterback seven seasons (1994-2000) for five NFL teams. He most recently was head coach at Purdue these last six years. His 36-34 won-lost record was highlighted just last week when his Boilermakers played in the Big Ten Conference championship game against Michigan, coached by NFL alum Jim Harbaugh.
Yes, there already have been several collegiate coaching changes involving NFL alumni. One thing is for sure: there will be additional moves between now and the College Football National Championship Game on January 9.