Anderson, 291-275 as Gonzaga coach, dies

Updated: September 7, 2005, 8:56 PM ET
Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Hank Anderson, a former basketball coach at Gonzaga and Montana State, and athletic director at Northern Arizona, has died, Gonzaga announced.

Anderson, coach of the Bulldogs from 1951-72, died Monday in Gig Harbor near Tacoma of an aortic aneurysm. He was 84, the school said.

"The entire family was at Dad's side when he passed away," said Terry Anderson, one of Anderson's five children. "It was a dignified and painless death."

"Hank left a legacy at Gonzaga," athletic director Mike Roth said in a news release. "He definitely helped lay the foundation for what Gonzaga basketball has accomplished in recent years. He took us into Division I and was behind Gonzaga joining a conference for the first time as a Division I program."

Anderson came to Gonzaga for the 1951-52 season, taking over a team that had gone 8-22 the previous season and leading it to a 19-16 record.

Over 21 seasons, Anderson had a career record of 291-275. His winning percentage of 51.4 percent is third all-time for coaches with five or more seasons at the school.

After seven seasons playing an independent schedule, Anderson, also the school's athletic director, led Gonzaga into the Big Sky Conference for the 1963-64 season. Gonzaga remained in the Big Sky until the 1979-80 season, when the Bulldogs joined the West Coast Conference.

After leaving Gonzaga, Anderson went to Montana State, where he posted a 28-24 record in two seasons, from 1972 to 1974. Then he became athletic director at Northern Arizona University from 1974-83, and was inducted into the NAU Hall of Fame in 1994.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press