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Remembering Jack Anderson

By - Roger Jewell

The man that legendary football coach, Chico Bolin called the greatest athlete in the history of Travelers Rest High School has died.

Jack Anderson passed away at the age of 73 on Wednesday, April 13th, 2022.

In 1969 Bolin said, "I guess I would have to say Jack Anderson was the best all around athlete we have had at Travelers Rest High School. Jack was a halfback in football. He was a great 440 man in track. He won the 440 state title with a 51.3 one year. He was also a great pitcher and outfielder in baseball. He is a fine All American boy."

Anderson was one of Bolin's athletes who went on to attend Clemson University. He was one of "Chico's Clemson Boys," who earned football scholarships during Bolin's glory years. That group included Stan Hopkins, David Farnham, Roger Hayes, Chuck Werner, Jack Anderson and Tony Anderson. The Greenville News once referenced Jack Anderson as "one of the greatest to ever wear the Travelers Rest blue and gold colors."

While attending Travelers Rest High, Jack earned about every athletic letter possible during his prep career. He was a four sport letterman in baseball, football, track, and basketball during the 1964-65 and 1965-66 school years. He earned the Most Valuable Player award and All Skyline Conference awards in all four sports. He also earned the Most Valuable Player award in baseball in 1964-65 and made history earning MVP and All Skyline Conference in all four sports in a single school year (1965-66). He was All State in Track in 1966, selected to the 1966 North-South All State Team in football, and made honorable mention to the All Southern Football Team.....all in one year.

At Clemson Jack lettered in football, baseball and track and played multiple positions in football for legendary coach Frank Howard and was the leading punter in the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) in 1969 and 1970. In 1970 he was named to the Blue-Gray Classic football game. As a freshman at Clemson, he once hit four homeruns in a single game and all four were described as the longest ever seen. Football injuries plagued him during his senior year and those injuries kept him from becoming an Atlanta Falcon in the NFL.

After Clemson, Jack didn't make the NFL Draft but was requested by the Atlanta Falcons to attend their pre-season training camp at Furman University. Team directors, after a few weeks in camp, throught Jack's previous injuries were too risky and released him from the team in August 1971. While those old injuries ended his dream of becoming a professional football player Jack discovered his true love - coaching football.

His first job in coaching came at Clemson where he coached the school's freshman team in 1971. From there he was hired at Westside High as an assistant football coach for one year. From there he was hired at Walhalla High School where he was an assistant coach for four years. When head coach John Hosteller resigned, Jack was hired to replace him at the helm. He led the Razorbacks for four more years and directed them to only their second appearance in the state playoffs in the history of the school in 1979. In 1981, Travelers Rest High School Athletic Director and head football coach, Tom Stanford hired Jack as his assistant coach. Former teammate David Farnham was also hired as well as George Harrelson as assistant coaches. Four years later in May of 1986 Stanford resigned as head football coach and Jack was promoted to replace him.

Jack was head football coach at TR from the 1986 season until the end of the 1998 season. His teams won 49 football games. His final game as head coach came in the first round of the 1998 state AAA playoffs which was a 7-3 loss to Greer at Greer, a game that many fans today recall as one in which the Devildogs were cheated out of victory due to a controversial mistake by game officials. Officials actually ran off the field that night with numbers of TR fans in pursuit. With 22 seconds to play in that game Greer appeared to call a time out after TR jumped offsides. Officials, Greer coaches and TR coaches argued and discussed the situation for fifteen minutes begore allowing Greer to play third down over again. Jack said, "One of the officials made a mistake it should have been fourth down and we would have still hd a chance to win the game but that chance was taken away from us." Nobody knew it at that time, except for Jack, that the game would become his last as head football coach at TR. He was replaced by long time friend Jim Howard the following season.

Jack became the school's head boys' golf coach and led the squad to the 2001 AAA South Carolina High School League State Championship. In 2013 Jack returned to the TR football sidelines of Chico Bolin Statium as he was hired to coach quarterbacks under head coach Rob Searfoss. During his career at TR he earned the 1990 Greenville County Coach of the Year Award. As head golf coach he also earned Golf Coach of The Year honors in1999, 2000, and 2001. In 2017 he was inducted to the Travelers Rest High School Athletic Hall Of Fame.

Jack's obituary follows:

Jack Edward Anderson, 73, of Greenville, passed away, Wednesday, April 13, 2022, at Greenville Memorial Hospital.

Born in Greenville County, he was a son of the late Jackie Dean and Mary Mathis Anderson. He was a teacher and coach at Travelers Rest High School, member of the Travelers Rest Hall of Fame, member of the Block C Club, graduate of Clemson University where he lettered in football, baseball, and track, Masters in Administration, and was a Karaite Jew.

He is survived by his wife of 22 years: Angela Gentry Anderson; son: Ash Foster; daughters: Abigail Smith, Hannah Carmichael(Bill); grandchildren: Scarlett Smith, Annabelle Smith, Rowan Smith; and brothers: Marvin Anderson(Janet) and Tony Anderson(Sandra).

In keeping with his faith, the family will be at the home from April 14, 2022, until April 21, 2022, for informal visit.

The family will receive friends Monday, April 18, 2022, from 6pm until 8pm at The Howze Mortuary.

A celebration of life will be Tuesday, April 19, 2022, at 7pm at the home.



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