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Ken Anderson to Retire From UW-Eau Claire Basketball Coach
By: JW, UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
EAU CLAIRE -- Blugold basketball coach Ken Anderson has decided to retire from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire after 27 years as head of the men's basketball program.
Chancellor Larry Schnack said Anderson will retire from coaching and teaching with emeritus status, effective at the close of this year's Badger Basketball Camp July 21.
"Ken's record of achievement brought national prominence to UW-Eau Claire and is a source of pride throughout the community," Schnack said. "His many honors attest to his ability to instill in young people the attitudes, drive and work ethic that lead to excellence in athletic competition."
Anderson, 62, is one of the country's most successful collegiate coaches. His record at Eau Claire stands at 631-152, a .806 winning percentage. His career included five trips to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Final Four, 21 NAIA All-Americans, and seven Academic All-Americans. He won or shared 14 Wisconsin State University Conference (WSUC) championships, won 14 NAIA District 14 titles and made 15 trips to NAIA nationals in Kansas City.
Named NAIA National Coach of the Year an unprecedented three times, he was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1990. A former Blugold athlete and 1955 graduate of UW-Eau Claire, he received the university's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1981 and has been inducted into the NAIA District 14 and the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Men's Athletic Director Mel Lewis credits Anderson's desire to succeed for bringing recognition to the Blugold athletic program and to the WSUC, despite its status as a non-scholarship league.
"Ken's record of 387-44 at home filled Zorn Arena and benefited our intercollegiate athletic program for almost three decades. Our teams often were ranked ahead of Division I teams in national ratings," Lewis noted.
The success of the Blugold program brought additional honors and opportunities to Anderson, an Abbotsford native who began his coaching career in Auburndale, followed by Plymouth, Superior and Wausau. As a member of the Amateur Basketball Association-united States of America Games Committee, he helped John Thompson with the selection of the 1988 U.S. Olympic team. In 1979 he coached the U.S. team that captured the gold medal at the World University games in Mexico City. He also assisted with a USA National team and coached at the National Sports Festival.
"We've had a lot of great players and teams through the years and some of the best fans in the country," Anderson said. "I'm proud of them and our successes throughout the years."
Anderson will continue to own and administer the Badger Basketball Camp until 2001 and then will donate the camp to UW-Eau Claire. In an agreement with the university Anderson will continue to employ the UW-Eau Claire men's head and assistant basketball coaches and the women's head coach in the camp.
The 30-year-old camp is the oldest resident camp in the state and has brought more than 33,000 young players to campus during the summer to develop their basketball skills.
"Ken's efforts to develop players, including girls and boys from throughout the Midwest, have benefited the university in many ways, and we're pleased that support will be expanded in the future," Schnack said.
Lewis will recommend to Schnack that assistant basketball coach Terry Gibbons be appointed interim head coach for the 1995-96 basketball season. A search for a permanent head coach will take place during the coming year.
Anderson will be recognized during Homecoming weekend at a banquet on Sunday, Oct. 15.