SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A coach with the San Jose State University football program is inspiring players with moves he learned in the 1990s that may be familiar to Bay Area residents of a certain age.
All it took was hearing those famous first few notes for running backs coach Alonzo Carter to start moving. At first he tries to shrug it off. But once the players and other coaches got into it, it was “Hammer Time.”
In the video which has since gone viral, Carter busts out some famous dance moves from the bygone decade that can be seen in the video to Bay Area rapper MC Hammer’s big hit, “U Can’t Touch This.”
But Carter isn’t just emulating the dance moves featured in the video. He is actually in the video.
The viral clip has spurred a flashback to Carter’s former life as the lead back-up dancer for MC Hammer and a featured performer in the smash hit music video.
Carter can be seen in the original clip wearing blue pants and dancing up a storm behind Hammer. Then, and now 25 years later, he’s still light on his feet.
When asked if he was set up when the viral video clip was made, he admitted he was.
“Totally set up. Totally off guard,” said Carter.
Carter says some of the other coaches knew about his former career and wanted to share it with the team.
“It was just a little bit of the routine, not the full routine,” said Carter. “But it was fun and I’m glad everyone enjoyed it.”
Carter was a student at Hayward State when Hammer’s records started going platinum. He dropped out and toured as part of Hammer’s stage show for five years, performing everywhere “from London to the Bay.”
He then became a successful high school football coach, but realized he needed to get his college degree to pursue coaching at the top collegiate level. So he went back and graduated last June.
It’s a life lesson he passes on to his athletes.
“I was born and raised in the inner city — West Oakland — and went to McClymonds High School,” said Carter. “I’m living proof that with focus and faith you can have a wide vision and get things done and never let anyone ever tell you what you can’t do.”
He says he owes a lot to Hammer.
“He’s the best at what he did and I want to be the best at what I do,” said Carter. “Once I started coaching, I didn’t want to be known as the guy in the Hammer video. I wanted to be known as Coach Alonzo Carter, so that’s what you got right now.”
Well into his second successful career, Coach Carter hopes to help San Jose State bust some moves in the college football world this fall.