Deion Sanders puts finishing touches on coaching staff, hires Robert Livingston as defensive boss
BOULDER, Colo. — Deion Sanders rounded out his Colorado coaching staff by bringing in Robert Livingston as defensive coordinator and sticking with Pat Shurmur to oversee the offense.
In addition, Sanders added Phil Loadholt to revamp a shaky offensive line and Jason Phillips to work with the receivers, the school announced Friday. The Buffaloes also shifted Vincent Dancy from analyst to assistant coach for outside linebackers, and Brett Bartolone from wide receivers to tight ends.
Colorado is coming off a 4-8 season in year one under Sanders. The Buffaloes will soon be moving from the Pac-12 to the Big 12.
Livingston has been tasked with shoring up a defense that surrendered 34.8 points a game in 2023. He’s spent eight seasons on the coaching staff with the Cincinnati Bengals, including the last six overseeing the safeties. His experience on the college level involves being the defensive quality control coach at Furman in 2010 and Vanderbilt the following season.
Shurmur will be the primary play-caller this season for the Buffaloes after being promoted from analyst to co-offensive coordinator last season in the midst of the team’s struggles. He shared the role with Sean Lewis, who has since left to become the head coach at San Diego State.
The 58-year-old Shurmur has spent a good portion of his coaching career in the NFL, with roles that have ranged from tight ends coach to offensive coordinator to head coach. He was in charge of the Cleveland Browns from 2011-12, along with serving as the interim coach in Philadelphia in 2015. He also was the head coach of the New York Giants from ’18-19. In addition, he has had stints with the St. Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings, and Denver Broncos.
Shurmur will run an offense that features quarterback Shedeur Sanders, who’s coming off a season in which he threw for a school-record 3,230 yards, despite missing the final game because of a fractured bone in his back. Sanders was anticipated to be ready for spring practice, which begins March 18.
Deion Sanders made bulking up the offensive line a high priority this offseason after watching his son get sacked 52 times. His new class of highly touted linemen includes five-star prospect Jordan Seaton.
Loadholt was brought in to mesh the offensive line into a cohesive unit. A former tackle for the Vikings, he has had coaching stops at Central Florida and Mississippi before spending the last two seasons at Oklahoma as an analyst.
Colorado will hold its black and gold spring game on April 27. The Buffaloes open the season by hosting North Dakota State on Aug. 31. Their first Big 12 game will be Sept. 21 against Baylor at Folsom Field.