In his early playing days, Armin Anderson was a quarterback for the Nevada Union football team. But, in his senior year he was moved to the running back spot, which set him on a path to gridiron greatness.

“If I didn’t move to running back, my career would ended right around then,” Anderson said.

Anderson was the quarterback set to follow David Heppe and proceed Chris Cota, both of whom are being inducted into the Nevada Union Athletics Hall of Fame Saturday along with Anderson.

Instead of battling Cota for the spot, Anderson moved to running back and went on to have a phenomenal senior season, be named to the All-League First Team as a running back and be awarded the Jim Brown Award as the Miners MVP.

In addition to being a standout in football, Anderson was also an elite sprinter and leaper for the track and field team. While at NU, he set the triple jump record. For his many efforts his senior year, he was named the co-recipient of the Albert Ali Award as the best Male Athlete.

“I owe a ton to Marshall Nixon (head coach of NU football at the time) and that coaching staff. When I came into my senior year I had never really played running back” Anderson said. “The fact that they took a chance on me was special. And it worked out great. But if that didn’t happen, I don’t think I would have had the opportunity to play for Davis.”

Anderson said what still sticks with him to this day is camaraderie on those NU football squads.

“We had a really tight knit team,” he said. “Times seemed a lot simpler then. It was a lot of fun.”

After graduating from NU, Anderson attended and played for UC Davis, and although he didn’t get a lot of playing time at running back he did make his presence known on special teams. Anderson set seven school records and four NCAA Division II records for most punt returns in a game, season and career as well as most punt return yards in a career.

After college, Anderson stepped away from the gridiron and coached in a youth soccer program in Granite Bay for 11 years. He was named Coach of the Year once during that time.

Anderson said when he looks back on his time at Nevada Union, only good memories can be found.

“When I look back on those times I have lots of good feelings,” he said. “I’ll always consider Nevada City/Grass Valley my home. I have great memories. And, coach Nixon — I’ve played for a lot of coaches — but coach Nixon, he has a real special place in my heart…He really helped me out and showed confidence in me.”

Anderson currently lives in Granite Bay and works in the insurance industry.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email

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