Deion Sanders will be a football coach at the charter academy school he started.
Prime Prep Academy, which has campuses in Dallas and Fort Worth, will play as a Class 3A school in Texas' University Interscholastic League. At Prime Prep Academy's first football practice Monday, Sanders said he would share head coaching duties with fellow former Dallas Cowboys Kevin Mathis and George Hegamin.
D.L. Wallace, co-founder and executive director of Prime Time Prep, said Sanders is up to the task of putting together a team in the school's first season, despite a busy schedule that includes working as a broadcaster with the NFL Network.
"Deion is committed to developing a strong athletic department and developing young leaders," Wallace said. "He does have the energy and he has the time."
Sanders is one of several high-profile former NFL players who are coaching high school football this season. Brett Favre is a volunteer assistant at Oak Grove (Hattiesburg, Miss.), Ty Detmer is the head coach at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Austin and Jake Plummer is coaching the quarterbacks at Sandpoint, Idaho.
But they're all at established schools. As a first-year charter school, Prime Prep has no weight room, no stadium and a scraggly patch for a practice field.
"Fortunately, we've already met some of the major concerns of starting a team," Wallace said. "We have equipment and uniforms. The fields are not that big an issue. We have other areas we can practice. Now, our focus is on making sure the team is cohesive."
The school's first day of classes is Aug. 27 with its first game coming four days later at Parish Episcopal (Dallas). Wallace said the school is in the process of being wired for the Internet and other details.
"We have 900 computers that will be arriving this week," Wallace said. "Our responsibilities will be that they will be properly imaged. We have teacher training on Aug. 16, making sure that everybody is acclimated to the Prime Prep culture. We are focused on getting the most out of the teachers we've hired."
Wallace said that having football in the school's first year will help set it apart from other emerging charter schools.
"We're in Texas and this is Texas football and we're glad to offer it to our children out of the gate," Wallace said. "Many charter schools don't have the ability to field a team at all."
Wallace said two of Sanders' sons, Shedeur and Shilo were expected to attend the school. His oldest son, Deion, Jr., will attend the Atlanta Sports Academy, a postgraduate prep school.