Colorado football head coach Deion Sanders is hiring Alabama Associate Defensive Coordinator Charles Kelly to serve as the team's defensive coordinator, shutting down any speculation of the former Jackson State head coach bringing Mike Zimmer aboard, according to a Thursday tweet from Buffzone Buffaloes beat writer Brian Howell.
Charles Kelly also served as the safeties coach for an Alabama defense that allowed the fourth-fewest yards per play and the sixth-fewest offensive touchdowns in the nation last season. Kelly worked in a variety of positions at Jackson State from 1994-98, starting off as the team's running backs coach before leading the defensive backs and switching through both coordinator positions.
Colorado ranked dead last in the NCAA with 44.5 points per game and 534 total points allowed, letting up 38 or more points in all but one of their 12 regular season games. The Buffaloes allowed a season-high 63 points against the Utah Utes in their last game of the season as they failed to contain 383 net rushing yards and nine total touchdowns.
Troy Ranck of Denver7 “confirmed a report” that Mike Zimmer would take the Colorado football defensive coordinator job four days after Deion Sanders arrived in Boulder. One day later, Howell was told the the former Minnesota Vikings head coach move was “not happening” from a source.
Deion Sanders let go of every assistant save for Darian Hagan, the team's running backs coach, to clear room for a staff of his own on Tuesday. Kent State head coach Sean Lewis was hired to take the place of Mike Sanford, who was named interim head coach after Karl Dorrell was dismissed on Oct. 2. Sanford was the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, joining Dorrell's staff after having the same position under PJ Fleck and the University of Minnesota.
The Hall-of-Fame receiver also hired Florida Atlantic head coach Willie Taggert and Jackson State tight ends coach Tim Brewster to his Colorado football staff for various spots.