Jim Anderson, who coached five Pro Bowl players and many outstanding others during a 29-year Bengals career as running backs coach, today informed the club that he is retiring.
“It has been a great run with the Bengals, and I’m happy to have ended it with two straight playoff teams and three in the last four years,” Anderson said. “The memories will last forever, and I’m proud and grateful to have had the opportunity. It’s a new challenge for me to move on, because I love coaching, but it’s time.”
From 2007 through this past season, Anderson had the most consecutive years with his team of any position coach in the NFL. His 29 seasons are a Bengals record for most total seasons on the coaching staff, as in 2012 he surpassed the 28 seasons (1975-2002) of former strength and conditioning coach Kim Wood.
Anderson joined the Bengals in 1984, after a college coaching career that included stops at Nevada-Las Vegas, Southern Methodist and Stanford. He has worked under five Cincinnati head coaches — Sam Wyche, Dave Shula, Bruce Coslet, Dick LeBeau and Marvin Lewis.
“Jim’s track record is that he gets the most out of every back he coaches,” said Bengals president Mike Brown. “He has worked with all types of runners and with all personalities, and because of who he is and how he works himself, he has made all of them want to work with him. More than a few were also with other teams, but by and large they had their best years with Jim.
“In a broader perspective,” Brown continued, “I want to say that Jim has been nothing but a credit to the Bengals in every way since 1984. We are proud to have worked so long with Jim, and I know I speak for our entire organization when I say we greatly value knowing Jim, his wife Marcia and their family.”
Anderson is a native of Harrisburg, Pa. He graduated from Cal Western, where he also played football as a linebacker and defensive end. He and wife Marcia are longtime residents of Evendale.
Anderson has been the coach in charge of nearly every running back listed in the Bengals record book. The top 15 individual rushing seasons in Bengals history have been accomplished by backs coached by Anderson, and his roster of Pro Bowl players includes James Brooks, Harold Green, Corey Dillon, Lorenzo Neal and Rudi Johnson.
In recent seasons, Anderson has helped lead Cedric Benson and BenJarvus Green-Ellis to career-best years after stints with other teams. Anderson also coached Ickey Woods, who was a leaguewide sensation as a rookie in 1988 before having his career derailed by a knee injury.
“Jim has been an extremely loyal position coach and a great taskmaster,” said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. “You will not find a coach who has come in every day with more positive enthusiasm for the job. It has been my privilege to work with Jim the past 10 years. His wisdom and experience have been a help to me in ways beyond the excellent job he has done with our backs.”