Former 49ers running back Glen Coffee, who retired from the NFL in 2010 at age 23, is now a member of the United States Army, and he is scheduled to graduate from Airborne School on Friday, Andrew Gribble of Al.com reported.
Coffee, who went through his training at Fort Benning in Georgia, told Al.com that he had a brief interest in enlisting as he redshirted at Alabama because of injury in 2006. More recently, war-themed movies further piqued his interest in joining the armed forces, he told the publication, with the film “Tears of the Sun” influential.
“I’ve always considered myself a warrior, somebody who would fight for what he believed in,” Coffee told the website. “It hit me like, ‘What do you think the military does and what do you think the military is full of? Warriors. All of a sudden, I had this respect for the military and I just realized that there is no America without the men and women who serve this country. I figured that if I’m able, the Lord’s blessed me with an able body while I’m young, to get out there and get dirty.”
Ultimately, Coffee wants to become a member of the Army’s Special Forces.
“I just felt like being in an elite unit would pretty much weed out anybody who didn’t have the drive and focus that I believe I have,” Coffee told Al.com. “I feel like if I make it in (Special Forces), that guy to my left and my right is somebody I could depend on with my life and visa versa.”
According to Al.com, Coffee enlisted in the Army on Feb. 4 — one day after the 49ers lost in Super Bowl XLVII to Baltimore. The Niners have moved on, but so too has Coffee, who has a knack for picking out compelling career paths.