November 15th, 2012

Hyland's Heroes: Gary Anderson

Kay Whelan

Staff Writer


Hyland's Heroes: Gary Anderson
image from loucsaa.org

Basketball coach takes lessons learned and applies them forward

The following feature is a part of a weekly series, sponsored by Hyland, Block & Hyland, called "Hyland's Heroes" - a set of profiles that will spotlight Louisville area Catholic volunteers, coaches and administrators who assist athletic programs and teams, and help promote excellence in all aspects of sports. Know someone that you think should be featured as the next "Hyland's Hero”? Send your recommendation to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

The CSAA has sponsored a boys’ high school basketball season for a number of years now, though many may not be familiar with the program. Two divisions exist: one serving freshman and sophomores and another for junior and senior students from the Catholic High Schools and local churches.

Gary Anderson will work with the teens from St. Albert parish again this year and is noted for having been around coaching basketball for 25 years. He is a strong advocate for the Intermediate Basketball program.

As a youngster he attended St. Raphael and then went to St. Xavier where he continued his love for football, basketball and baseball.  Gary and his wife, Mary Ann, are the parents of Ashley, Matthew and Eric who have participated in numerous sports themselves. It is safe to say that athletics is not just a passing fancy in the Anderson household.

When and how did you get your start with the CSAA? Why so?

I started in third grade playing baseball and became interested in playing because my dad and older brothers were active in and played numerous sports, so naturally I wanted to follow in their footsteps.

Who asked you to contribute or what got you involved? 

The reason I became involved in CSAA as an adult was because my dad was always involved in coaching CSAA baseball when I was a kid and I saw how beneficial and gratifying it was for him. I recognized how his involvement with coaching was so beneficial to me and my brothers. It made me want to do the same for my kids.

What sports did you coach and for how long?

I have coached CSAA basketball for 25 years and CSAA baseball for 8 years.

What's the connection with your faith and giving your time to these young student athletes? 

It all goes back to recognizing how much I appreciated the fact that my dad gave of his time to coach me and my friends. I know that by giving my time to coach the kids and providing them with a positive role model and the positive experience of playing sports, I am doing the work that God wants all of us to do – that is, in simple terms, to help others to enjoy life.

Who was the most influential person on your coaching career? Why?

My dad would be the most influential person on my coaching career because I recognized early on how much his involvement in coaching me added to my enjoyment of playing CSAA sports.

What are your major themes/principles as a coach?  

I always felt like it was important to teach the kids the value of wanting to win and trying their best to win the game, but bottom line, I just wanted to make sure that every kid on the team was enjoying his experience and feeling like he is an important and valuable part of the team.

What does coaching bring to you, your family?

It provides a great bonding experience and activity that we can all enjoy together. During the season, it is something that we all look forward to doing together. My wife and I, along with my son and daughter, go to every game together. One of the greatest things it gives, I think, to my son and daughter, is a secure feeling of knowing that their father and mother are really interested in something that they are involved in and enjoy doing.

What are the fondest experiences or memories you have of coaching? 

It all boils down to just seeing the enjoyment that my kids and all the kids on the team are getting out of playing on a team that I’m coaching. It also makes me feel good when I get compliments and expressions of thanks and appreciation from the players and their parents for coaching the team.

 

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