Cincinnati Bengals running back coach Jim Anderson, who has been with the team for 30 years, retired on Tuesday. Anderson has been with the same NFL team longer than any current assistant coach in the league. To give Jim Anderson’s longevity perspective, consider that he is the last remaining link to Cincinnati Bengals franchise founder Paul Brown, who interviewed Anderson and brought him on board.
Jim Anderson is 65 years old, and during his tenure with the Cincinnati Bengals he has seen it all, literally. He has procured 18 1,000 yard seasons from Bengals running backs and had the opportunity to coach 14 different 100-yards per game players.
As one of the first minority coaches in the NFL, Jim Anderson has been a leader to the players he coached as well as other African-American coaches who looked to Anderson as a role model.
Ray Oliver, a former Bengals assistant strength coach, is now the chief of the University of Kentucky strength program. Oliver recalls of Anderson, “Jim Anderson would come into different schools and talk to me early in my career and helped develop me and showed me how to go to work every day. Never take a day off and not worrying about anything except doing my job.”
Fans of the Cincinnati Bengals are familiar with the bevy of running backs that have seen success under Jim Anderson’s tutelage. From the Bengals most recent rushing stars in BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Cedric Benson, to James Brooks, Corey Dillon, Rudi Johnson, Pete Johnson, and local favorite Ickey Woods, Jim Anderson has coached them all.
As the Cincinnati Bengals season drew to a close this year, there was a deluge of chatter concerning the possible loss of offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer to a head coach opening on another team. Ironically Gruden and Zimmer are staying in Cincinnati, but it appears the Bengals may be losing their greatest treasure after all in Jim Anderson.