Three former Cal football players — running back C.J. Anderson (Denver Broncos), head coach Ron Rivera (Carolina Panthers) and assistant defensive backs coach Richard Rodgers Sr. (Carolina Panthers) — will play vital roles in Super Bowl 50, taking place in Santa Clara on Sunday, Feb. 7.
Rivera is the first former Cal player to serve as a head coach in the Super Bowl. And this will mark the first time that former Cal players have ever squared off against each other with one an NFL player and the other an NFL coach, according to the Cal Athletics website. Cal has now had at least one former player represent the Golden Bears in the Super Bowl in 14 of the last 15 seasons.
As a senior linebacker at Cal in 1983, Rivera earned consensus first-team All-American, Pac-10 Co-Defensive Player of the Year and Pop Warner Trophy honors while also being a finalist for the Lombardi Trophy. Bug Rivera, a nephew of Ron, is a senior wide receiver on the 2016 Cal football roster.
Read more about the former Golden Bears on the Cal Athletics site.
Berkeley isn’t the only one spotlighting its Super Bowl contenders as the game approaches. Among the many posts about all three are these:
Vibe, the online news site, featured Panthers Coach Ron Rivera, an All American Cal Bear, in Ten Things You May Not Know about Ron Rivera.
Sports Illustrated profiled Rivera by interviewing his wife Stephanie, a coach herself and former Cal basketball standout. The two met at Berkeley. Read the story here.