Last August during the 49ers training camp former running back Glen Coffee abruptly retired from the NFL. When I wrote about Coffee retiring at the time I respected his decision in that he said he had a higher calling to work as a minister. At the time I thought there had to be more reasons as to why he wanted to retire. After Kentwan Balmer went AWOL and was traded and after Michael Lewis quit on the team Coffee retiring was also a signal of the difficulties to come with Mike Singletary at the helm.
After Coffee retired he said he was going to finish his degree at the University of Alabama while getting more involved in being a minister. Now in his spare time Coffee has found his way back onto to the football field this time however in the semi-pro Premier South Football League. As a member of the leagues newest team, Northwest Florida Falcons, Coffee is not lining up on the offensive side of the football but on the defensive side as a safety/linebacker:
“I was a pretty nice defender,” Coffee said. “I think I could have been a better free safety than a running back, but running back was the glory position. I’m excited to be able to hit some people.”
While it might be hard to imagine the 6 foot, 200 pound running back being a heavy hitter it is also hard to imagine that Coffee is back on the playing football even at a semi-pro level because not even one-year has passed since he retired. Although Coffee will be playing at a middle school as oppose to stadiums with big crowds this may have been a good move by him because he will be playing football this season while his former Niner teammates languish in lockout. Coffee said he likes playing the game as a recreation sport but not as a lively hood. Reading about Coffee playing football again, albeit at a semi-pro level, irks me because of the third-round draft pick the 49ers wasted and getting only one season out of him. No matter how Coffee explains it he quit on the 49ers.
“A lot of people think that because I quit, I don’t like football or I have something against it,” Coffee said. “It’s not like that. As a recreational sport, I still dig it. It’s just not what I wanted to do with my life.”