Deion Sanders’ pastor and friend walks the “higher walk” with “Coach Prime” before every Colorado game
The surging Colorado Buffaloes, under their new coach Deion Sanders, are the surprise of the 2023 college football season, with three wins in their first three games, already surpassing last year’s 1-11 record. And Sanders has a “spiritual coach” helping him along the way.
Sanders, a transplant from historically Black and much smaller Jackson State University, brought many things with him to the University of Colorado — including someone he credits with helping him with his “higher walk,” Atlanta-area pastor Dr. E. Dewey Smith.
Smith, senior pastor at House of Hope Atlanta in Decatur, Georgia, can be found on the sidelines of every Colorado game. He has a special relationship with Sanders. It is a relationship, that according to Smith, started some 20 years ago.
We were on the same panel. I spoke; he spoke. And we just instantly connected. It’s like we had kindred spirits,” Smith recalled. “We exchanged pleasantries, and from that, we began a relationship. About 10 years ago, we really went deeper. He’s one of my— if not my best friend, now.”
In 2020, “Prime Time” Deion Sanders, as he was known on the field and in the announcing booth, became “Coach Prime” when he took the reins at Jackson State. Around the same time, Sanders’ personal pastor died. Being a man of faith, the new coach said he needed someone to fill that void in his life.
“I need a spiritual coach,” Sanders said. “I need a man of that standard and status to ‘check’ me.”
Sanders turned to his friend.
“We’ve been walking that journey together,” Smith said. “Which I take very seriously.”