Kim Stroud, CJ’s mom, on her family, hardships and her son’s rise in the NFL

KHOU 11’s Zack Tawatari spoke with Kim Stroud one-on-one, about her children and her husband in prison.

HOUSTON — KHOU 11’s Zack Tawatari sat down 1-on-1 with Kim Stroud – the mother of star Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud – ahead of Mother’s Day. 

Kim’s incredible personal story details C.J.’s life growing up in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., with his two brothers, Isaiah and Asmar, and sister Cieara. She showed resilience in the face of adversity to provide for her family when their life took an unexpected turn as C.J.’s father – a pastor at their church – went to prison. 

Kim has four children.

“I have my beautiful daughter, Cieara. She’s a singer-songwriter. I have Isaiah who’s my oldest child,” she said. “I have Asmar who’s my second oldest, and then obviously, I have C.J., who’s the baby of the family.”

“I’m blessed to have a strong mother like I do,” C.J. said. “My mom always used to say, ‘You start, you finish it.’”

No matter how big a platform football has given the Strouds, the foundation of Kim’s family stands on her shoulders.

“Watching C.J. just go from college, now to NFL quarterback has just been an amazing experience truly,” Kim said.

When C.J. was a child, the Strouds settled in Rancho Cucamonga, California, a suburb outside of Los Angeles.  

Back then, Kim and her ex-husband, Coleridge Bernard Stroud III, started a church.

“He was a pastor, and he really inspired other people and he really made a difference in community,” said C.J. ’s brother, Asmar. 

But several years later, when C.J. was just 13 years old, his father was arrested.

“It’s almost like the rug was taken from under our family,” Cieara said. “Before me and C.J. knew it, we found out he was having to go to prison.”

You can see our full interview with Kim Stroud here. It’s also streaming now on KHOU 11+ on Roku, FireTV and Apple TV.

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Coleridge is in prison for carjacking, kidnapping and robbery.

“It was devastating what happened to our family,” Kim said.

“Did you ever have days where you thought, ‘How am I going to do this?’” we asked her.

“Oh definitely,” she said. “Definitely. It was hard.”

Kim would take on multiple roles.

“I became mom and dad,” she said. “In essence, because I don’t think I could really be dad.”

“She stepped up to the plate and did as best she could,” C.J. told us.

Kim, C.J. and Cieara would end up living in an apartment on the site of a storage facility where Kim was the property manager.

“Would be so dirty from head to toe with dirt in my ears,” she said.

“She just did whatever it took so that we would have a roof over our head,” Cieara said.

“That kind of showed me how hard I needed to work,” C.J. added.

Neither Kim nor C.J. would allow where they were to define where they were going.  In many ways, life itself had prepared C.J. to overcome the odds.

“It’s made him who he is,” Kim said. “I don’t think we’ve seen anything yet.”

They give back to single moms and children with incarcerated parents through the C.J. Stroud Foundation, bringing their journey full circle.

“For people to tell us their stories, it’s very heartwarming, and also it makes you feel like you’re not along,” Cieara said.

The Strouds’ story of football, family and faith is one that wouldn’t have been possible without mom.  

“I just appreciate her,” C.J. said.

“I’m just so grateful she’s my mom,” Cieara added.

“I’m extremely grateful, proud of all my children,” Kim said. “They’re warriors.”

You can learn more about the CJ Stroud Foundation here. 

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