LAUDERHILL, FLA. (WSVN) - This fall, a former Miami Dolphins wide receiver will be in charge of his own college program right here in South Florida.
Chris Chambers last played in the NFL back in 2010 — but the Pro Bowl receiver stayed involved with local youth and high school levels.
When he got the call to coach on a college level, he took it regardless of the huge challenge that awaited him.
Chambers is now the head coach of a university most people have not heard of.
“I did not know it existed and I’m happy they approached me so it seemed like it was just the right time at the right moment with the right person so I’m excited about this opportunity for sure,” he said.
He’s coaching the University of Fort Lauderdale’s football team.
The school is a small, four-year Christian university with an enrollment in the hundreds.
“I came in with no team, so no players, no coaches in May,” said Chambers. “I’ve been able to put together a full coaching staff now with over 40 players and we’re still looking for another 10 to 15. Anybody out here who is looking for an opportunity, looking for a home, we’d love to have you.”
Former Deerfield High School player Kyle Kaplan is a team starting quarterback.
“Me and coach Chambers we go way back, back into high school and stuff,” said Kaplan. “I played on his 7 on 7 team and stuff, so when he offered me an opportunity to come play here I took his word for what it was and everything and I trust him.”
The Eagles play in the National Christian College Athletic Association.
Eight of the ten games this season are on the road.
“We’ve got a D1 team on there, we have two former D2 National Champions on there, we’ve got several really good programs from Texas teams so it’s not the kind of schedule you kind of want to run into but at the same time, no one has seen us so I believe just from the element of surprise that we’ll get out there and be able to make some plays and be very competitive our first season,” said Chambers.
Chambers has surrounded himself with assistant coaches he has history with.
“Christian and I knew each other from the days of him playing with the Miami Dolphins in ’05, ’06,” said defensive line coach Bert Hill. “I was on that staff so knowing each other, having trust — that’s what really brought it together.”
“I’ve known Chris since 2011, helped him out over there at the Chamber Fitness Center and a lot of coaches that are part of the staff are a lot of familiar faces that have worked with each other at some point during camps and different things like that,” said quarterback coach Oliver Boseman.
Defensive lineman Jason Munoz played for two state championship teams at St. Thomas Aquinas High School.
He was at Syracuse before opting out due to COVID.
“I already knew coach Chambers from when I was 11, 12 years old,” said Munoz. “I was practicing with him at the Chamber and he was trying to build me and develop me. I see no reason why I shouldn’t come back and get coached by this guy.”
Chambers’ message comes down to everyone buying in, from his players to his assistant coaches.
“I don’t know everything but I’m a competitor and I want the kids to know I was always tough and I always had a lot of heart on the field and I want them to have the same characteristics when they play,” he said.
The Eagles kick off the season on Saturday night against Southeastern University in Lakeland.
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