BOULDER - Dick Anderson's journey to two Super Bowl championships has taken him places he never thought he would go.
But Anderson has always remembered that his decorated football career started as a Panther at Boulder High School. At Boulder's Winter Sports Rally on Tuesday morning, Anderson returned to his old stamping ground with a gift for his alma mater.
As a part of the NFL's Super Bowl High School Honor Roll program, Anderson presented the school with two golden footballs that represent his accomplishments and the many ways his high school and community influenced his career, as well as Super Bowl history.
"It's really neat that the NFL has created the Honor Roll program for players to give back to the high schools," Anderson said. "They talk about the colleges all the time but this is a great opportunity to honor the high schools. I try to give back to Boulder. My mother is here, my son is here and a couple of my grandkids are here. This gives me an opportunity to come back to Boulder and do something for the school."
Anderson graduated from Boulder high in 1963 and played running back, cornerback and punter on the Panthers football team that won the 3A state championships his senior year. He went on to play at the University of Colorado. In Anderson's final year with the Buffaloes, the team finished the season with a 9-2 record and he was recognized as a consensus All-American.
Drafted in the third round of the 1968 AFL draft by the Miami Dolphins, Anderson was voted Defensive Rookie of the Year and was named to the Pro Bowl three times in his career. Anderson won Super Bowl rings with the Dolphins during the historic undefeated 1972 season and again in '73, during which he was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
"I think there were 2,100 retired players who were a part of winning Super Bowl teams and nearly 550 accepted the challenge and presented gold footballs to their high schools," Anderson said.
In his NFL career, Anderson intercepted 34 passes thrown by some of the best quarterbacks in the world.
"What it does is validate the rich history and tradition at this high school," Boulder athletic director Ed Hartnett said. "To see somebody like Dick Anderson come back and speak to the students about the importance of making the right choices is a big deal. And when we fill up a half an entire section with alumni who came back for this really shows the importance of our school's history and the impact it has had on the people who went here."