Ian Anderson's contribution to the development of the game at the high school level has landed him in the B.C. Football Hall of Fame and at 71 he is not done yet.
Anderson was recognized for his tireless efforts as one of 16 inductees. The class of 2013 also includes the likes of former B.C. Lion greats Willie Fleming and Tom Brown. Anderson enjoyed a weekend celebration that included being recognized at the Lions/Alouettes game last Sunday before turning his attention back to his football duties as an assistant coach with the Lord Tweedsmuir junior varsity team.
After a 25-year run overseeing the program at Steveston secondary school, Anderson believed he had walked away from the game for good. However, the passing off his wife less than two years ago created a void. He called up his longtime friend Matt Phillips who immediately offered him a position with the Tweedsmuir program.
The Panthers coaching staff also features Doug Staveley - making it three major contributors to the rich history of Steveston Packers football before the program folded.
"I'm having a blast," laughed Anderson about his almost daily trek out to the Cloverdale school. "I don't know how many years I can keep doing it but right now I'm really enjoying it."
Anderson's induction also recognized his work with the B.C. Football Officials Association where he served as president and was instrumental in attracting many former players and coaches to be involved. He too officiated games until the juggling act became too great when he took on the head coaching duties at Steveston.
He was front and center in what was considered one of the greatest rivalries in the history of B.C. High School Football. When the Packers met the Richmond Colts in the annual Jim Jordan Trophy rivalry game, the town came to a standstill with typically 2,000 fans packed around the field.
"You could win every other game but lose that one and your season was pretty much considered a disappointment," said Anderson. "It was a wonderful just being part of it. So many great memories."
Football had become such a way a life at the school that one year over 80 students came out for tryouts. Anderson alway had a no cut policy and rounded up enough alumni players to serve as coaches and ran two teams that season.
He guided four Packer teams to provincial finals during his tenure but unfortunately came up short in the bi game each time.
That hardly dampened his enthusiam for the game and Anderson takes pride in the number of his players who went on to play in the CFL. The list includes Randy Graham, Al Chorney, Hal Lund, Mike Emery, Mark Napiorkowski and Pat Cantner.
"I was there for so long that I basically become a part of the woodwork at the school," chuckled Anderson who taught everything from PE to business during his tenure. "We had a wonderful administration that really supported the program and had a big part in its success."
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