Cincinnati Bengals running backs coach Jim Anderson announced his retirement Tuesday, ending his run as the NFL’s longest-tenured assistant coach with the same team.
Anderson, 64, joined the Bengals in 1984 after four seasons as an assistant coach at Stanford University, and he went on to work under five different head coaches while producing five Pro Bowl running backs.
“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.”
Anderson’s 29 seasons with the Bengals are the most in franchise history. This past season enabled him to break the mark of 28 set by former strength and conditioning coach Kim Wood (1975-2002).
A 1970 graduate of Cal Western with a degree in physical education, Anderson also coached at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College, Nevada-Las Vegas and Southern Methodist before moving on to Stanford and eventually the Bengals.
He worked for head coaches Sam Wyche, Dave Shula, Bruce Coslet, Dick LeBeau and Marvin Lewis during his 29 seasons.
The top 15 individual rushing seasons in franchise history came under Anderson’s direction. He coached James Brooks to four Pro Bowls, Corey Dillon to three and Harold Green, Lorenzo Neal and Rudi Johnson to one each.
“Jim’s track record is that he gets the most out of every back he coaches,” Bengals president Mike Brown said. “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 earned the distinction of being the NFL’s longest-tenured assistant with the same team in 2007 when Pittsburgh’s Dick Hoak retired.
Anderson led the Bengals to NFL rushing titles in 1988 and 1989 and the AFC rushing crown in 1986. From 1986-90, the team never finished lower than fifth in league rushing. More recently, Anderson guided Cedric Benson and BenJarvus Green-Ellis to career-best seasons following stints with other teams.
“Jim has been an extremely loyal position coach and a great taskmaster,” Lewis said. “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.”