Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Coffee retires from NFL, returns to Capstone

Former Alabama running back Glen Coffee announced Friday he’s retiring from the NFL after only one year and is planning on coming back to Alabama to finish his degree.

After leaving the University following his junior year, Coffee spent one season in San Francisco with the 49ers, but he said his faith has brought him back to Alabama.

“I feel like it’s His will,” Coffee said in an interview with the Mobile Press-Register. “It’s something that I really felt like I shouldn’t have entered the NFL in the first place. I don’t know what call God has for my life, but it wasn’t football. I’ll be happier, not necessarily because I’m without football, but because I’m letting Him do His work. Whether it was leaving football or leaving something else, another job, it doesn’t matter. I’ll be happy because I’m following His will.”

While at school, he began to follow Christianity and was baptized during the 2007 season. When he left before his senior year, he only needed six more hours before getting an undergraduate degree in consumer affairs.

Now that he’s coming back to school, he’s keeping the option of studying religion open, perhaps entering into the ministry field.

In his final season with the Crimson Tide, he rushed for 1,383 yards and 10 touchdowns on the team that went 12-2, making it to the team’s first SEC Championship game since 1999.

Head coach Nick Saban said he was surprised by Coffee’s decision to leave the NFL.

“Glen was such a warrior-type competitor when he was here,” Saban said. “He was a guy that just played fantastic football for us and improved dramatically in the two years he was on the team [under Saban]. He always seemed to be a guy that really loved the game.”

In his only season with the 49ers, he was second in the depth chart behind Frank Gore. He ran for 226 yards on 83 carries in his only season.

49ers head coach Mike Singletary said he respected Coffee’s decision and appreciated his honesty.

“I appreciate everything that he’s done for the 49ers and whatever the issues are, I’m not going to go into all of the other stuff,” he said earlier this week. “You will have to talk to Glen about that, but I appreciate his honesty and I appreciate him not coming out here and going through the motions. The thing that we’re trying to do with the 49ers, we’re trying to find 53 men that love the game of football and that’s going to help us get where we need to go.”

Coffee acknowledged people may not understand his decision, but he still felt what he was doing was right.

“True happiness is glorifying God and glorifying Christ,” he said to the Mobile Press-Register. “That’s what true happiness is. … And for me, that wasn’t the NFL. That wasn’t where I needed to be”

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