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Anderson Enjoyed the Ride

Apr. 04, 2007 10:31 PM | Author: Mike Griffenberg, TR Sports Editor | Updated: Apr. 25th, 2007 10:14 AM
Everyone around the Valley City State athletic department thought Cory Anderson was a lifer.

It's a long time, but 23 years isn't a lifetime.

'I just really thought the timing was perfect,' Anderson said. 'I've looked at things in life, whether it's playing or coaching, and I wanted to be in a situation where I could go out on my own terms. Go out before the situation dictated that I needed to get out, It's been a great ride.'

Anderson, who announced his resignation March 27, is not stepping down because of his performance on the field.

As the offensive coordinator, he led the football team to a 6-4 record this season and currently has his baseball team at 10-4 and in second place in the Dakota Athletic Conference.

Anderson said there are a couple of reasons as to why he is leaving, but the most important is that he wants to spend more time with his family.

'I've spent many years raising other people's kids, so to speak,' he said. 'It's time for me to start raising mine.'

Anderson's departure left the athletic department a bit shaken up because not only is he the head baseball coach, the offensive coordinator of the football team, but he is also the sports information director.

However, VCSU athletic director Doug Peters acted quickly and filled two of those three positions Friday.

Former Viking coach Steve LeGrand has been tabbed to replace Anderson on the football team, and Viking head volleyball coach Craig Case has been named the new sports information director.

Peters thought it was important to act quickly in filling some of the holes left by Anderson's soon-to-be departure.

'I thought we needed to because, with the coaching openings, I don't want negative speculation,' he said. 'Any time people start to speculate, usually it goes to the bad side. We wanted to make sure our student-athletes, our alumni and our community know athletics is important to Valley City State.'

Despite being a former co-offensive coordinator with Anderson, LeGrand was hired as the offensive line coach. The play-calling duties now belong to head coach Dennis McCulloch.

McCulloch said that he will keep Anderson's system, but will add new wrinkles to it.

'It's going to change in the sense that no one can be a Cory Anderson,' McCulloch said. 'It's like somebody trying to be Bill Walsh (former coach of the San Francisco 49ers and father of the West Coast offense). He's run an offense that he knows and understands. That will never be replaced.'

As for a new head baseball coach, Peters, who will be leaving VCSU in June to become the AD at Minnesota State University Moorhead, said that he started the replacement process on Friday. He said he will be putting a search committee together soon. Peters will be the hiring offical and hopes to have the position filled by the end of the academic year.

One candidate for the job may be assistant coach Casey Olney. Olney has been an assistant to Anderson since 2005.

Peters said he has spoken with Olney and Olney has expressed interest in the job.

'He's a strong candidate,' Peters said. 'At the same time, he understands I've got to do what's best for Valley City State University, and that's to make sure I get the best candidate in here.'

Everyone has said that what Anderson has done on the field will be difficult to replace, but Anderson, the person, is what McCulloch will miss the most.

'He is a really good man,' he said. 'He is a great man of character. I always call him my moral compass.'

Anderson said he 'will always bleed cardinal,' but believes this decision will not only benefit him, but the university as well.

'The players on both teams deserve it, and I'm not sure I could do justice to either program at the pace I was going,' he said. 'I don't want to be the weak link.'
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