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Ester James Junior, III (born December 8, 1959 in Salisbury, North Carolinamarker) grew up in Nashville, Tennesseemarker. He is current head coach of Central State University. He is a former Americanmarker professional football player who was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1st round (4th overall) of the 1981 NFL Draft. A 6'3", 235 lbs. linebacker from the University of Alabamamarker, Junior played in 13 NFL seasons from 1981-1993 for the Cardinals, the Miami Dolphins, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Seattle Seahawks. He was a two-time Pro Bowl selection for the Cardinals in 1984 and 1985.

Since leaving the NFL, Junior has been the executive director of youth programs in Miami under the NBA's Alonzo Mourning. He also spent time back in the NFL as a coach and in the front office. He was the Seattle Seahawks linebacker coach in 1994 and then was the director of player development programs for the Miami Dolphins from 1996-1998. He has been a minority intern coach for the Minnesota Vikings (2003) and Jacksonville Jaguars (2005) and coached in NFL Europe for the Rhein Fire in Düsseldorfmarker, Germanymarker. On the college setting, he coached the linebackers at the 2005 and 2006 East-West Shrine Game.

From April 2006 to March 2009 Junior was the linebackers coach at Southwest Baptist University He was promoted to Defensive Coordinator in February 2009 but left a month later to take the position of head coach for Central State University.


  1. 5 Questions: Former Alabama star E.J. Junior
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  3. Junior Hired as Central State Coach The Sporting News, March 14, 2009

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