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Alumni Hall of Fame
Athletic Achievement (2012)

Thomas L. Anderson

Thomas L. Anderson was a member of the Memorial High School Class of 1946. Coming to St. Marys from Kentucky, “Kentuck,” as Mr. Anderson was nicknamed, notably distinguished himself as an outstanding athlete at the high school and collegiate levels.

While a student at Memorial High School Anderson was a three sport star athlete, playing football, basketball and baseball. In football, he earned two varsity letters while playing offensive end for the Roughriders and Head Coach Lyle Barber. He was a member of the 1944 and 1945 Western Buckeye League Championship football teams. The 1944 football team secured the St. Marys Roughriders’ first outright Western Buckeye League Championship with an 8 – 1 record. The 1945 football team, on which Anderson was co – captain, is the only team in St. Marys Roughrider football history to shut out all opponents in league games, finishing with a 7 – 2 record. Tom was selected by the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association to be a member of the 1946 North Team in the first Ohio North – South All Star Football Game. In basketball, he was a varsity letterman playing a guard / forward swing position. In baseball, he was also a varsity letterman serving as both a pitcher and outfielder.

After graduation from Memorial High School, Mr. Anderson attended the Ohio State University on a football scholarship along with his Roughrider teammate Chuck Huwer. Tom played two seasons as an offensive end with the Buckeyes and Head Coaches Paul Bixler and Wes Fesler. After suffering a knee injury, Anderson traded the scarlet and gray of Ohio State for the green and white of the Ohio University Bobcats. Mr. Anderson played two seasons as quarterback for the Bobcats and Head Coach Carroll Widdoes, one of his former coaches at Ohio State. Tom was a two year letterman and held multiple passing records for the Ohio University Bobcats. In years since, many of those passing records have been broken.

While a student athlete at Ohio University, Mr. Anderson joined the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (R.O.T.C.). This decision would set Thomas Anderson’s life course. He graduated from Ohio University in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. Mr. Anderson served his nation over his twenty year military career across the globe in Korea, West Berlin, Germany and Vietnam and state side in Hawaii, Washington, D.C., Fort Benning, Georgia, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Minnesota and Wisconsin. He dedicated most of his military service to intelligence and recruiting. He received the Legion of Merit Award and the Purple Heart Award for his meritorious service, and retired in 1973 as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army. His military career also offered him opportunities to participate in the sports that he loved. While in Hawaii, Tom was a player / coach for the Fourteenth Infantry’s Dragons football team, winning the All Hawaii Division Championship in 1955. In 1956, Mr. Anderson was selected to be a coach for All Star Military Service Teams playing in the first Hula Bowl. While in West Berlin during the erection of the Berlin Wall, Mr. Anderson coached an Army football team that had the distinction of playing the first American football game in Berlin Stadium. Tom also found himself playing and coaching various military baseball teams and garnering much success.

After retiring from the military, Mr. Anderson spent time in both St. Marys, Ohio, and Hawaii, and spent time teaching and coaching at the middle school level and enjoying the golf course. Thomas Anderson passed away in 1983, and was laid to rest at the National Cemetery of the Pacific with full military honors.

Mr. Thomas L. Anderson, for his outstanding and superior athletic achievement at the high school and collegiate levels, is inducted into the St. Marys Memorial High School Alumni Foundation Hall of Fame for Athletic Achievement.

The above text, in its entirety, is embossed on a St. Marys Memorial High School Alumni Hall of Fame plaque permanently on display in Memorial High School.

Copyright St. Marys MHS Alumni Foundation