Deion Sanders has found his new defensive coordinator.
According to multiple reports, Cincinnati Bengals secondary and safeties coach Robert Livingston is set to run Colorado’s defense in 2024. Livingston has been a member of the Bengals coaching staff for the past nine seasons and spent the last six years as the team’s safeties coach. Before working as an on-field coach for the franchise, Livingston was a Bengals scout for three seasons.
Livingston is the second play-caller with NFL ties that Sanders has hired in his brief tenure at Colorado. After initially hiring Kent State coach Sean Lewis to be the team’s offensive coordinator in 2023, Sanders had former New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur start calling plays during the middle of the season despite Lewis keeping the offensive coordinator title.
The offensive switch to Shurmur didn’t make much of a difference. Colorado finished the season at 4-8 after starting 3-0. The Buffaloes were 1-8 in Pac-12 play as their lone conference win came against Arizona State.
Colorado struggled to run the football and protect QB Shedeur Sanders. The defense, meanwhile, couldn’t stop the run and allowed more than four touchdowns a game. Opponents averaged over 72 plays per game against the Buffaloes and gained 6.3 yards per play.
Livingston takes over for Charles Kelly. Kelly, an Alabama assistant before moving to Boulder in 2023, left at the end of the 2023 season to take a job on Auburn’s defensive staff.
Shurmur, meanwhile, is set to return as the team’s offensive coordinator in 2024 as Lewis is now the head coach at San Diego State. Colorado has moved to add offensive line talent in the transfer portal as it heads back to the Big 12. Sanders was productive in 2023, but he was also slowed by injuries after he was sacked over 50 times throughout the course of the season.