|Date of birth:||August 15, 1969|
|Place of birth:||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|NFL draft:||1991 / Round: 2 / Pick: 39|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Eric M. Bieniemy, Jr. (born August 15, 1969) is an American former professional football player who was a running back in the National Football League (NFL) for nine seasons. He played college football for the University of Colorado and was recognized as a consensus All-American. He was selected by the San Diego Chargers in the second round of the 1991 NFL Draft. Bieniemy served as the offensive coordinator at Colorado before becoming the running backs coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.
He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Bieniemy lettered in football and track and field at Bishop Amat High School in La Puente, California, earning second-team All-America honors in football as a senior when he rushed for 2,002 yards and 30 touchdowns.
Bieniemy was heavily recruited out of high school and chose the University of Colorado, where he became a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity. He was the nation's second leading rusher in 1990 with 1,628 yards, along with 17 touchdowns, and finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting behind BYU's Ty Detmer (the winner) and Notre Dame's Raghib Ismail. Bieniemy is Colorado's all-time leader in rushing (3,940 yards), all-purpose yards (4,351), and touchdowns (42).
Nicknamed "Scooter" and wearing No. 1, Bieniemy earned consensus All-America honors in 1990. He was a two-time first-team all Big-Eight performer, in 1988 and 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 Colorado Buffalo football. After his carries for significant yardage, the announcer would lead the crowd in chanting "E! B! eniemeeee!"
Bieniemy's success in college did not translate into the professional ranks. He played from 1991 through 1999, and finished his career with 1,589 yards rushing, 1,223 yards receiving, 276 yards returning punts, 1,621 yards on kickoff returns, and 12 touchdowns (11 rushing and one kickoff return) while playing for the San Diego Chargers, Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles. ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman gave him the nickname "Eric 'sleeping with' Bieniemy", in reference to the 1991 film Sleeping with the Enemy.
Bieniemy returned to Colorado to complete his degree and was the running backs coach for the Buffaloes from 2001 to 2002 and at UCLA from 2003 to 2005, as well as the team's recruiting coordinator in 2005. Following UCLA's 2005 Sun Bowl victory, Bieniemy accepted a position as running backs coach for the Minnesota Vikings in the NFL. Since his time as the Vikings running back coach, his leading rusher Adrian Peterson, has led the NFC in rushing with 1,341 yards in 2007 and also in 2008 with 1,760 yards, which was also tops in the NFL. On July 26, 2010, Bieniemy was also named the Vikings' assistant head coach for the offense. On December 2, 2010, Bieniemy returned to Colorado as offensive coordinator under new head coach Jon Embree. Bieniemy became the running backs coach for the Kansas City Chiefs, in 2013 under new head coach Andy Reid.
Bieniemy and his wife, Mia, have two sons, Eric III and Elijah.
- Colorado Buffaloes: coaching profile
- Career statistics and player information from NFL.com • Pro-Football-Reference