CJ Appleton joined the Pioneers coaching staff in 2018 after a pair of seasons assisting football.
When Appleton competed for the Pioneers basketball team, he earned an All-Northwest Conference selection during his junior season. He nearly averaged a double-double with 10 points and 8.5 rebounds per game that year. The Pioneers led the nation in rebounding margin that season.
In his first season on the football staff (2017), Lewis & Clark had its most All-NWC picks since 2013 including offensive lineman Devon Franklin, who was the first All-NWC from the offensive line since 2015 (Maka Ah Loo). The offensive line blocked for the most rushing yards by a running back (Michael Abraham - 469) since 2008.
Appleton joined the staff following a two-year career as an All-Northwest Conference tight end for the Pioneers. A year after debuting as a Lewis & Clark student-athlete with the Pios men's basketball team, Appleton joined the football team in 2015. That season, he finished with 44 receptions for 532 yards for an average of 12.1 yards per catch. He ranked in the NWC's top 10 for receptions that season.
In 2016, he finished with five touchdowns despite playing a shortened season because of injury.
Appleton received the Wilma Rudolph Award in June 2016.