Mike Anderson, 49, was a long-time junior high coach who was highly respected by former players who went on to play for local high schools.
It was shocking and sad to hear the news earlier this week that Stockton area junior high p.e. teacher and basketball coach Mike Anderson had died in a pedestrian-car traffic accident on New Year’s Day in San Jose.
Anderson at one time was a coach of my son, Sean, when Sean was playing YMCA basketball in grade school and Sean was good friends at Lincoln High School in Stockton with Mike’s son, Michael Jr., who is now playing basketball at Delta College.
According the obituary on Anderson that was published on Tuesday in the Stockton Record, he had been a p.e. teacher at Sierra Middle School for 23 years and during his career also was the sophomore boys basketball coach at Lincoln for 17 years.
In my conversations with him as our boys were growing up, I always thought Anderson would have been a great high school coach – or even more – but got the sense that he had found his sweet spot at the junior high level and that he was having more fun coaching teams with his sons on them – his other son is Mathew, a current Lincoln High student – and didn’t want to deal with a lot of the politics and off-the-court issues that high school head coaches routinely get involved in.
Anderson’s office at Sierra Middle School was located just inside the gym at that school. As people in the community try to remember him, perhaps naming that gym in his honor would be a great place to start.
Cal-Hi Sports offers its thoughts and prayers to the Anderson family, including Mike’s wife, Lynne, who did a great job directing Grad Night at Lincoln when Michael Jr. and Sean graduated in June of 2014.