Basketball and Track, 1955-58
Inducted February 24, 1996
Bill Anderson was a two-sport athlete for SMS, lettering three seasons each for the Bears in both basketball and track from 1956 to 1958. A native of Marshfield and a basketball-baseball-track-softball standout in high school, Anderson transferred to SMS following a year at Springfield’s Drury College and after also having served two years with the National Guard in Korea. Anderson spent three seasons with the basketball Bears of Coach Eddie Matthews, including playing on the 1957-58 SMS ballclub which went 22-2, won the MIAA conference championship and reached the NCAA College Division regional tournament for the first time. Anderson’s greatest SMS athletic successes were in track, however, where he was a versatile performer for the Bears of Coach Aldo Sebben. Anderson competed in the sprints, high jump, long jump, hurdles, pole vault, javelin and relay events and he was routinely the SMS high point man in dual and relay meets. It was his all-around skills which led to his receiving an invitation to compete in the decathlon at the prestigious Kansas Relays in his senior year. He place fourth in the KU event with a total of 5,249 points to set an SMS record in the decathlon, and finishing second in the high jump in his best individual finish among the 10 decathlon events. Following his graduation from SMS, Anderson entered the coaching profession and newly-opened Hillcrest High School in Springfield, where he remained for 16 years coaching Hornet teams in basketball, track and golf. He has remained a long-time physical fitness advocate, establishing more than 45 fitness centers across Missouri. He also organized and opened Springfield’s first center for competitive gymnastics.