Retired 49er Glen Coffee surfaces in Florida semi-pro league

Glen Coffee walked away from the NFL before the start of his second season last August when he said the ministry was calling more loudly for him than a career in professional football.

Now, the former San Francisco 49ers running back is playing again.

Coffee has joined the Northwest Florida Falcons. If you haven’t heard of them, that’s because they’re in the Premier South Football League, a semi-pro league. The team is based in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. The season opener is tonight when Coffee and his teammates will tangle with the Crestview Thunderbirds.

It’s a long way from 49ers and the NFL lockout.

“I just enjoy recreational sports,” Coffee told Adam Rosenberg of the Northwest Florida Daily News. “I figured it would just be another fun thing to do.”

Coffee has not only transitioned from pro to semi-pro, he’s moved from running back to safety/linebacker.

“I think I could have been a better free safety than a running back, but running back was the glory position,” he said. “I’m excited to be able to hit some people.”

Coffee declined to discuss his departure from the 49ers and what he’s been up to since then. He was arrested last fall in Fort Walton Beach for speeding. Coffee failed to provide proof of registration for the Cadillac he was driving or insurance, and police found a concealed and loaded weapon in the vehicle. He did tell Rosenberg he has been taking some online classes through Alabama toward his degree.

“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.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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