By Randy Sharer
He knows that as does his wife, Ann, as well as his staff at Anderson Ford Mercury in Clinton, where he works as general manager.
But beginning next spring Anderson’s busy schedule will have to make room for the job of Clinton High School head boys track and field coach.
So what could possess a businessman to take time out of his day to help kids?
Anderson likens his situation to a TV commercial he saw for a retirement company that began “Someday I want to grow up to be …”
“Well, someday I want to grow up to be a coach,” said the 55-year-old, who feels he still has a lot to learn about track, but that’s not all bad.
“Because I know nothing, all I do is sponge off everybody all the time.”
The truth is the considerable track knowledge Anderson has soaked up since becoming a volunteer Clinton Junior High assistant coach in 1998 includes tons of tips from Illinois Wesleyan coach Chris Schumacher begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting and his former assistant, Marchan Adkins.
The past dozen years has also seen Anderson serve off-and-on as Clinton High School assistant girls track coach.
“Anything our kids have done in sprinting is because of Marchan Adkins,” said Anderson, whose daughter, Rachel, was a seven-time Division III national champion at IWU.
The biggest thing Adkins taught Anderson about coaching was the importance of giving athletes the right type and amount of training at the right time in the season.
“It’s like cooking brownies,” Anderson said. “You leave two or three of the ingredients out, it doesn’t come out very good. If you put it in the oven and pull it out too soon, it doesn’t taste very good.”
Anderson wishes he had known about periodized training when he started coaching.
“It’s been a fun journey,” said Anderson of his track education. “It’s still a fun journey and I love seeing the kids grow. Every kid can become faster no matter what level they are, which is really cool.”
Anderson has had a red-hot passion for track since growing up in Lexington, where his name still appears on two sprint relay school records.
“The program gave so much to me at a young age in Lexington and then it gave so much to me with Rachel,” said Anderson, who wants to give his future athletes a program that mixes fun and success.
“We’ve had some great talent come through. I just want to take everything we’ve had and take it to the next level.”
Anderson, who replaces Karl Parrish, will have E.J. Brady as his assistant for throws and distance running. Leann Sosamon will coach the horizontal jumps and assist with sprints.
Anderson hopes to add other volunteer assistants. The boys staff will work with head girls track coach Steve Cors to oversee both boys and girls in various specialties.
“I feel very thankful, very lucky to get this opportunity,” said Anderson before speeding off to the next phase of a busy day. “I think it’s a privilege for me to coach the kids.”