John ‘Doc’ Anderson was head of track at Troy

Published 8:25 pm Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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Johnson Anderson, former Auburn distance star who paced the Tigers to the Southeastern Conference cross-country championship in 1964, has been named head track and cross-country coach at Troy State University.

The announcement of Anderson’s appointment was made Saturday by Troy State Athletic Director Billy Atkins.

Anderson assumes the new duties immediately, succeeding Nick Costes who will remain in the Physical Education Department and head up the Troy State intra-mural program.

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“We’re very pleased that John decided to accept this new responsibility,” Atkins said in the announcement.  “He has the experience and the ability to do a real fine job, and we have no doubt that he will put Troy State at the top in track and cross-country.”

The new coach has served the Red Wave as full-time trainer and graduate track assistant since 1967.  He also will continue in the dual role of track coach and athletic trainer.

Anderson lettered three years in track and cross-country at Auburn and was elected captain of Auburn’s 1964 Southeastern Conference championship cross-country  team.

After completing his undergraduate work at Auburn, he spent a year as student track coach and trainer for the Plainsmen before moving over to Auburn High to handle the distance runners for the perennial state champion Baby Tigers.

Anderson will have a corps of veteran distance and field people returning for the 1970 season, but sprinters and hurdlers appear to be his biggest problem to date.

Returning will be distance stars Winslow Stetson, Mark Sterzenback, and David Atkins, along with Larry Turner of Montgomery’s Lee High.  In field events, Rip Tolbert, George Hiers and Albert Mathias are back in the shot and discus while Rusty Ninas, who holds the school record in the javelin, also returns.

All of these articles can be found in previous editions of The Troy Messenger.  Stay tuned for more.  Dianne Smith is the President of the Pike County Historical, Genealogical and Preservation Society.