Gary Anderson (running back)
|Date of birth:||April 18, 1961|
|Place of birth:||Columbia, Missouri|
|NFL draft:||1983 / Round: 1 / Pick: 20|
|Career highlights and awards|
Career NFL statistics
Gary Wayne Anderson (born April 18, 1961 in Columbia, Missouri) is a former professional American football running back who played in the National Football League, the United States Football League and the Canadian Football League from 1983 to 1995.
Anderson was drafted in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers, but could not agree on a contract. Instead, Anderson signed to play for the Tampa Bay Bandits of the USFL in 1983 after a college football career at the University of Arkansas. Anderson had filed suit against his first agent, Dr. Jerry A. Argovitz, and the Tampa Bay Bandits. The suit alleged that Argovitz misrepresented the Chargers' offer and that Argovitz steered Anderson to the Bandits in exchange for a USFL franchise (the Houston Gamblers). Sports Illustrated August 29, 1983.
At trial, evidence was produced showing despite spending four years at the University of Arkansas, Anderson had not learned to read. This is one reason why he may not have understood the various documents he kept signing.
Anderson started late in the season and quickly became the starting running back for the Bandits. He finished with 516 yards on 97 carries with 4 touchdowns in 1983. In 1984, Anderson rushed for 1008 yards on 268 carries and scored 19 touchdowns (league leader). In 1985, Anderson had his best USFL season as he rushed for 1207 yards on 276 carries and had 16 touchdowns. He was named to one All-Star team in his USFL career and is the 4th leading rusher in USFL history.
In 1985, Anderson signed with the NFL's San Diego Chargers and was used primarily as a backup running back and kick returner. He returned a kickoff for a 98-yard touchdown on November 17, 1985 that was the longest kickoff return of the 1985 season. He continued to be a reserve and special teams player for the Chargers until 1988, when he became the starting running back and rushed for 1119 yards on 225 carries. He scored 3 touchdowns and was named to the Pro Bowl that season. In 1986, he caught 80 passes out of the backfield for 871 yards and 8 touchdowns.
In 1989, he sat out the season in a contract dispute with the Chargers. Anderson returned in 1990 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and rushed for 646 yards on 166 carries. He played with the Buccaneers as a reserve running back until 1993, when he played briefly for the Detroit Lions before retiring.
In 1995, Anderson came out of retirement to play in the CFL for the expansion Memphis Mad Dogs where he joined a man who coached against him in the USFL, Pepper Rodgers. Anderson scored three touchdowns and gained 523 rushing and receiving yards in his one CFL season. When the US teams folded, the Saskatchewan Roughriders selected him the 12th round of the dispersal draft, but released him prior to the start of the 1996 season.