Ex-NFL Player C.J. Anderson to Lead East Bay High School Football Program

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His playing days are over, but C.J. Anderson is not ready to give up the game of football.

The former National Football League running back and Bay Area native was recently hired to be a high school coach in Contra Costa County.

Monte Vista High School in Danville is redoing its field just in time for the fall football season. The field is all gravel now, but Anderson can already see its potential.

"You know, opportunity, plays, crowds, excitement," he said.

Along with the new turf, the school is welcoming Anderson as its new football coach.

"I think it's a beautiful opportunity," Anderson said. "Obviously coming from my playing career, coaching is something I knew I wanted to do so I get a chance to give back."

The Vallejo native said he always knew he wanted to lead a team, so when his seven-year NFL career ended in 2020, the former Cal product went back to Berkeley as an off-the-field volunteer coach.

As a player in the NFL, he reached the pinnacle of his sport winning Super Bowl 50 as a member of the Denver Broncos, but this fall will bring a new experience -- his rookie season as a head coach.

"I've been preparing for this opportunity for a very long time now," Anderson said. "Obviously there will be things in this coaching game that we will now know, that's why we have a great staff around us with experienced coaches to help us out with that. When it comes to nerves and things like that, nah I think I'm pretty ready to go."

Playing in the NFL gives the 30-year-old Anderson instant credibility with his players. He went from Laney College to Cal, then went from being undrafted to being a Super Bowl champion.

Anderson knows how tough it is to make it in the pros, which is why he said academics come first in his program.

"We want to teach character. We want to teach accountability. We want to teach structure. We want to teach brotherhood," Anderson said. "But with all those characteristics comes with winning."

Monte Vista's new field should be ready for the team's home opener in September, where Anderson already has high expectations.

"Definitely, big wins," he said.

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