Eric Bieniemy is in his third season as UCLA running backs coach. He has also assumed the additional responsibilities of recruiting coordinator for 2005.
Bieniemy began his collegiate coaching career by working two seasons as an assistant at Colorado prior to joining the Bruin staff in January of 2003. At CU, he coached the running backs as well as the kickoff coverage unit on special teams.
In the 2004 season, Maurice Drew became just the 10th Bruin to rush for at least 1,000 yards in a season (1,007). Drew also set a single-game school record with 322 yards and five touchdowns scored in a game at Washington. Manuel White also had his most productive season as a Bruin, rushing for over 750 yards and catching 20 passes. In addition, freshmen Chris Markey and Michael Pitre each displayed talents which helped earn them post-season recognition.
In the 2003 season, UCLA's Drew earned third-team Freshman All-America honors as a kick returner/running back after rushing for almost 600 yards and scoring two touchdowns on kickoff returns.
During 2002, Colorado ranked ninth in team rushing in the NCAA with 232.8 yards on the ground per game. Tailback Chris Brown ranked third in the nation with a 153.4 yards per game average.
Bieniemy had a tremendous impact right from the start in his first year on the Colorado staff, as the Buffs finished eighth in the nation in rushing, averaging 228.5 yards per game. The tailbacks and fullbacks combined for 2,620 yards, the most yards out of all the running back positions in college football for 2001. In 2002, the Colorado backfield combined for over 3,000 yards to lead the nation.
A former All-American tailback at Colorado, Bieniemy had returned to campus in order to complete the requirements to earn his degree, a process he had started in 1987 as a freshman at CU, when he decided to join head coach Gary Barnett's staff.
Bieniemy, 36, served as an assistant at Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver in the fall of 2000, prior to his return to Colorado. He also enjoyed a nine-year career in the National Football League after being a second round choice of the San Diego Chargers in the 1991 draft. Bieniemy was with the Chargers through 1994 and played with the Cincinnati Bengals (1995-98) and the Philadelphia Eagles (1999).
He graduated from Colorado in May 2001, with a degree in sociology. After returning to school full-time following his NFL career, Bieniemy shined in the classroom, compiling a grade point average in excess of 3.5 in 11 courses.
Bieniemy's footprints are all over the CU record book, as he remains the school's all-time leader in rushing (3,940 yards), all-purpose yards (4,351), touchdowns (42) and scoring (254 points). He was the nation's second leading rusher in 1990 with 1,628 yards, along with 17 touchdowns, when he finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting that year behind BYU's Ty Detmer (the winner) and Notre Dame's Raghib Ismail. His most memorable game was at Nebraska as a senior in 1990, as he overcame five fumbles in the first three quarters to score four fourth quarter touchdowns in leading CU to a 27-12 win that put CU in the driver's seat for a second straight Big Eight title as well as on the road to the school's first national championship in football.
In 1990, he earned unanimous All-America honors along with guard Joe Garten and linebacker Alfred Williams, the first three Colorado players to be named as unanimous selections. He was a two-time first-team all Big-Eight performer, in 1988 and in 1990, earning the conference's offensive player-of-the-year honor as a senior. As a junior, he was named to CU's prestigious 25-member "All-Century Football Team," the only active player at the time to be selected to the group honoring the first 100 years of Buffalo football.
Bieniemy lettered in football and track at Bishop Amat High School in La Puente, CA, earning second-team All-America honors in football as a senior when he rushed for 2,002 yards and 30 touchdowns.
RECRUITING RESPONSIBILITIES -- Local / California: Los Angeles City and San Gabriel Valley; National: Louisiana, Houston,TX area and running backs.
PERSONAL -- Education: Bachelor's in Sociology, from Colorado, 2001; At UCLA: Third year (joined the staff in January of 2003); Born: August 15, 1969 in New Orleans, LA; Family: Married to the former Mia Maxie, they have two children, Eric III (10) and Elijah (6).