It’s been a fun ride for Anderson
Published 11:33 pm Monday, May 28, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
For three decades, he has called Troup High home.
Well, perhaps it’s not technically his home, but Peter Anderson has spent enough time there that it has probably felt like it at times.
Anderson has been a math teacher for 30 years, and he has also coached just about every sport offered at the school.
Now, Anderson is ready for a new challenge.
Anderson’s final day as a teacher at Troup was last week, and he will begin his new position as the director of the Math Collaborative at Columbus State University in July.
“This job at Columbus State, this opportunity came open, and I applied for it, and I got it,” Anderson said.
While eager for this next challenge in his life, Anderson is grateful for his many years at Troup.
“It’s been a blessing for me,” Anderson.
Anderson, who has coached hundreds of boys and girls over the years, said “I don’t think there has been any kid I’ve coached or taught that they haven’t affected me in some way.”
Anderson, a graduate of McGill-Toolen High School in Mobile, Ala., received his undergraduate degree in mathematics education from the University of South Alabama in 1987.
After college, it was time for Anderson to explore his options, and there was a position as a math teacher at Troup High available.
Anderson applied for the position and got it, beginning a relationship between a school and a teacher/coach that has lasted for 30 years.
Anderson coached football, basketball, tennis and track during his first years at Troup.
A few years into his tenure at Troup, Anderson began coaching cross country, and he remained a part of that sport for the duration of his time at the school.
Anderson also had a stint as the head soccer coach, and he and assistant Mark McCloud led the team to the state quarterfinals one spring.
“The opportunity presented itself (to coach soccer), and I think I grew the most as a coach, and as a person, because it’s something I never played before,” Anderson said. “I have to give a lot of credit to Mark McCloud. He’s an amazing person, and a solid coach. We kind of fit together well. I was more the team manager. (McCloud) and Donnie Palmer, more of the mechanical part of the game, they were the engine that made it go.”
The one constant for Anderson has been cross country.
He has coached that sport for nearly his entire time at Troup, and even when he wasn’t the head coach he was helping out in an unofficial capacity.
“When people are finishing, you get claps from the opponents,” Anderson said. “It’s really the kind of sport that I think kids can take with them.”
Over the years, Anderson was able to coach all three of his sons in cross country.
“I never told them they had to run,” Anderson said. “It’s something they just did. They all kind of carved out their own space (at the school).”
For the past few years Anderson hasn’t been an official coach at the school, but he’s still been there for the cross-country team.
Anderson has even been helping to train a former Troup student who hopes to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
“Every week I look forward to Tuesday, because that’s our distance day,” Anderson said.
As for his time at Troup, Anderson said “it’s been a blessing for me,” and while teaching and coaching obviously present challenges, “I think this is the best job in the world.”