As young athletes develop, they learn to celebrate wins and commiserate losses. They realize that mistakes happen and that those moments can be a powerful learning opportunity.
CJ Stroud, the Ohio State quarterback, learned early on that a strong support system is vital to success. His mother Kimberly has helped mold him into the football player and man he is today.
Background and Early Life
The Houston Texans quarterback has carved his lane as a rising star in the NFL but says that his parents, especially his mother, remain a vital influence. They instilled direct and indirect influences that Stroud has embraced as he’s made his mark on the football field.
Kimberly Stroud has been a critical figure in CJ’s life, helping him to develop an exemplary work ethic. She is also a vocal advocate for prison reform and has used her platform to support her son’s efforts in this area.
Kimberly and Coleridge Stroud III have four children, including Isaiah, Asmar, Ciara, and CJ. Their father is serving a 38-years-to-life sentence for a 2016 conviction on charges of kidnapping, robbery, and carjacking in a drug-related incident under California’s 3-strikes law. Kimberly and the kids live above a storage facility in Rancho Cucamonga, California. They make ends meet through multiple income streams, but the bulk of their earnings come from CJ’s lucrative NFL contract.
The Strouds’ Supportive Dynamic
The success of CJ Stroud’s pro football career is a testament to the strong influence of his parents, Kimberly and Coleridge. The Houston Texans quarterback credits his mother with helping him become the player he is today, noting that she played a huge role in his development into a college star and then a top-two pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
The Strouds’ early life was centered around church life as their father, a former pastor, ran Life Application Christian Center out of Rancho Cucamonga, California. He often involved his son in sermons and even asked him to speak to the congregation.
But tragedy struck the family in April 2015, when Coleridge hopped into a woman’s stopped car at a traffic light and forced her to drive him to a place where he could purchase drugs. He received a 38-years-to-life sentence under California’s three strikes law and won’t be eligible for parole until 2040. Despite this setback, CJ still has fond memories of his father and continues to speak out on criminal justice reform.
Navigating Challenges Together
The Strouds’ family dynamic has been critical to CJ’s success as a player. Kimberly serves as a constant support system to her son and provides the love and encouragement needed to stay grounded throughout his football career.
The Houston Texans rookie has been a vocal advocate for prison reform, a topic that hits close to home. The Ohio State quarterback’s father, Coleridge Bernard Stroud III, is serving a 38-year sentence after pleading guilty to charges of carjacking, kidnapping, robbery, and evading police with reckless driving.
Stroud’s dad turned his life around after his first jail sentence, becoming a pastor, a successful executive, a coach, and the father of Isaiah, Asmar, Cieara, and CJ. However, drugs returned to his life when the children were young, and a divorce only fueled the spiral that ultimately sent him back to prison. For years, the youngest Stroud stayed silent about his father’s situation. But he has now spoken out about his dad to help others going through similar situations and to shine a light on the need for prison reform.
Lessons for Parents and Athletes
Kimberly’s courageous and unyielding spirit helped her son overcome enormous odds to emerge as a star NFL quarterback. Even though his father is currently incarcerated on a 38-year sentence for kidnapping, robbery, and carjacking charges, Stroud’s mother didn’t let this derail her child. They forged ahead, raising CJ in a loving home and ensuring his success on and off the field. As a testament to their commitment to helping others, the couple recently released the CJ Stroud Foundation to support single mothers and kids with incarcerated parents. It is a worthy initiative that mirrors the Cleveland native’s life story. Getty Stroud’s illustrious career at Ohio State ultimately led to him becoming a first-round pick for the Houston Texans.
The unwavering support of Kimberly and Coleridge Stroud has played a pivotal role in CJ Stroud’s journey to success. Their commitment to his dreams, encouragement through challenges, and the foundation of love they provided have undoubtedly shaped him into the accomplished individual he is today, both on and off the field. The Stroud family’s story serves as a testament to the profound impact parental support can have on a young athlete’s development and underscores the importance of a strong support system in achieving one’s aspirations.