Charlie Anderson, former Aquinas basketball coach, dies

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Charles Murray “Charlie” Anderson, who coached the Aquinas College basketball team to the 1991 National Junior College Championship, died on Wednesday, Jan. 27. He was 86 years old.

“Anderson was well-loved by the student-athletes he coached,” Aquinas College said in a statement released after his death. “He is remembered for his personal care for each student’s well-being, and for calling his athletes to compete both on the court and in the classroom with high personal standards.”

After a long career as a high school coach in Nashville, Mr. Anderson became the head basketball coach and athletic director at Aquinas College in 1981. During his 20 years at Aquinas, he took three teams to the National Junior College Tournament, including the championship team in 1991, which was the first team from Tennessee to ever win the national championship.

While at Aquinas, he compiled a record of 451-179. Mr. Anderson was named the JUCO National Coach of the Year in 1991 and was inducted into the Tennessee Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 1992 and the National Junior College Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2002. His commitment to building character in athletes led to his 1993 nomination for the Nashville Sports Council Lifetime Achievement Award.

Charles Murray Anderson was born in Plant, Tennessee, on Nov. 8, 1934, to Charles Wesley and Thelma Anderson. He graduated in 1952 from Cohn High School in Nashville and immediately entered the Navy where he was stationed in Hawaii until 1955. He earned his undergraduate degree from Middle Tennessee State University followed by earning two graduate degrees from George Peabody College.

He was a high school coach in Nashville for 40 years, coaching at Central High School, Stratford High School, Bellevue High School, Hillsboro High School, Nashville Christian School, and Martin Luther King Magnet High School. While his most notable success came in men’s basketball, he also had noteworthy accomplishments as a coach in football, tennis, baseball, girls’ basketball and softball.

He was inducted into the TSSAA Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.

In addition to his love of coaching he was an avid golfer and fisherman. He loved spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren. The children knew he loved to dance and had him up and dancing every opportunity they could. Many of his former basketball players kept in touch through the years as they shared memories on the golf course. His circle of friends was vast as he could hardly go anywhere without someone knowing him and sharing good times that they had had together.

Mr. Anderson is survived by his wife of 65 years, Beverly Steele Anderson; his son Chuck (Sherry) Anderson, who coached with him at Aquinas; two grandsons, Jarrett Anderson and Caden (Rachel)

Anderson; four great-grandchildren, Aubrey, Charlie (Marti Anderson mother), Beckett and Eva Anderson.

A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date.

Harpeth Hills Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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