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Matthew Morris Matthew Morris BVM Sports Journalist

C.J. Anderson: Broncos Super Bowl to rising Rice RBs coach

HOUSTON (BVM) – Former NFL running back C.J. Anderson has quickly transitioned from his playing career to a budding coaching career. Since retiring in 2019, the Super Bowl 50 winner with the Denver Broncos has coached at the high school and college level and recently accepted a position at Rice University as the running backs coach. 

Prior to accepting the position at Rice, Anderson was a volunteer coach at his alma mater, the University of California, in 2019 following his retirement. It was while at Cal that he worked with current Owls’ offensive coordinator Marques Tuiasosopo. Then in 2021, Anderson became the head coach of Monte Vista High School in Danville, California.

In his first and only year as the Mustangs head coach, Anderson led the team to a 7-3 record and an appearance in sectionals. In March, he accepted the coaching job at Rice and has been busy ever since. 

Already On3 has named him one of 65 rising star assistant coaches at the college level. He has been active in the recruiting process and adds a level of NFL pedigree that would help any football program recruit high school athletes. 

Last season, the Owls went 4-8 and only had 1,789 total rushing yards as a team. Rice did have multiple backs rush for over 200 yards with junior Ari Broussard leading the way with 569 yards but the running game needs improvement. Anderson can help right away with that while also building for the future through recruiting. 

“C.J. was very inquisitive,” Anderson’s former Denver Broncos teammate and hall of fame quarterback Peyton Manning said to Pro Football Network. “He always asked questions and wrote things down in a notebook. To me, those are good signs of being a studious player. And a lot of those qualities translate into being a good coach. I think C.J. will do a great job. He was always a smart player. He should do a great job relating to those guys in recruiting and lead by example by working hard and doing the right things. That shows the young players the way.” 

Anderson can also relate to many of the young men he will be coaching and recruiting because he was in the same position they are in. He was not highly recruited out of Jesse M. Bethel High School and played for Laney College after graduating. 

After Laney, Anderson went on to play two seasons for the University of California where he accumulated 1,135 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. As an undrafted free agent, he signed with the Denver Broncos.

C.J. Anderson Rice University C.J. Anderson Denver Broncos C.J. Anderson LA Rams C.J. Anderson Running backs coach
Los Angeles Rams running back C.J. Anderson speaks during a press conference prior to Super Bowl LIII. (Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)

From 2013 to 2017, Anderson was a constant contributor for the Broncos and helped the team win Super Bowl 50. He made the Pro Bowl in 2014 and rushed for 1,007 yards in 2017 before signing with the Carolina Panthers in the offseason. 

The Panthers released Anderson halfway through the 2018 season and the LA Rams signed him to replace Todd Gurley. With Anderson in the backfield, he helped the Rams make it to Super Bowl LIII. 

No matter where Anderson played, he brought a level of professionalism and hard-nosed running that led to a lot of broken tackles. As a coach, he will bring that knowledge of the game to the athletes he coaches and the mentality that got him a Super Bowl ring. As a recruiter, he can relate to the high schoolers who are looking for the chance to play at the next level. 

Anderson has a bright future as a coach.