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Alex Anzalone: No Better Person to Lead Oxford Than Zach Line

Oxford High School football coach Zach Line played in the NFL for the New Orleans Saints.

Oxford High School varsity head football coach Zach Line has ties to current members of the Detroit Lions. 

Line, 31, played fullback in the National Football League for the New Orleans Saints from 2017-19. 

Current Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone was his teammate, while head coach Dan Campbell was the Saints tight ends coach under Sean Payton. 

According to the school's website, "Coach Line makes his return home after a seven-year NFL career, playing for the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints. During his time in the NFL, Coach Line was selected as a Pro-Bowl alternate four times, receiving an All-Pro vote in 2015. Coach Line also was selected and served as the captain of the New Orleans Saints. As a professional athlete, Coach Line developed an unrivaled football I.Q., evolving under the guidance of Mike Zimmer and Sean Payton and alongside teammates Adrian Peterson and Drew Brees."

Speaking at his media session on Wednesday, Campbell took time at the beginning to express his condolences for the tragic school shooting that occurred at Oxford High School on Tuesday. 

“Our heart goes out to the Oxford community. That’s awful. Nobody should have to deal with that. Just prayers go out to the families and the friends and everybody involved," Campbell said. "That goes from myself to our players, the whole Lions community. It’s awful.”

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Campbell was reminded by the Lions' media relations staff that Line was coaching at Oxford and lost one of his players, Tate Myre.

Detroit's first-year head coach was aware Line was coaching in Michigan.  

"I found out before the walkthrough. I didn't even realize that," Campbell said. "That will be the first thing I do when I leave here is, give him a call. I did not even put two and two together."


In the midst of his most productive NFL season, Anzalone shared with reporters why Line is best suited to aid in the healing of the Oxford community, following such a heartbreaking tragedy. 

"I was thinking about it. I feel like there's no better person in that position to really help the community get through a situation like this," Anzalone shared. "As far as a person and a God-fearing person, all the things that you want in a leader in a situation like this, he has. He's strong, and he's faith- filled. So, he'll be able to help the community get through this really bad time. 

"He was the type of guy who wasn't a big rah-rah guy. Just the way he approached every day -- the way he led by example and did his job and demanded accountability," Anzalone continued. "He was always reliable. I think that, you know, he's never too high, never too low. Like I said, as unthinkable of a situation as this is, in my opinion, I thank God for putting him in this situation for a reason. He'll be able to lead that community."