Duncan Anderson Memorial Foundation

Back in 1989, then-Delta Pacers head coach Dunc Anderson shares a moment with famed Indiana Hoosiers head coach Bob Knight during a coaches clinic at IU.
At any point of his journey, from running the steep hills as preseason conditioning with the legendary 1964 Prince Rupert Rainmakers, to scrapping his way to a spot on the freshman team at Simon Fraser as a 28-year-old in the early 1970s, to beginning a high school coaching career in 1974 that would go on to touch parts of five decades, he carried the imbedded work ethic of an underdog through the doors of every gymnasium he ever set foot in.

Yet on Tuesday, as those who knew him best reflected on his passing, it became clear that the line he was able to navigate so strikingly between disciplinarian and caring father-figure would stand as his greatest legacy.

Anderson, who was either an assistant or head coach at five of Delta’s seven high schools, was in his second go-round at Seaquam Secondary, and was preparing to begin his third season as the Seahawks senior varsity head coach this fall. He had also previously coached at Sands, Delta, Burnsview and North Delta, often times concurrently. His only non-active seasons came after suffering a heart attack and later, undergoing heart surgery.

Dunc Anderson guided more than 50 different teams over a span of 37 seasons as a B.C. high school basketball coach. He was already planning for the 2012-13 season, which he had said would be his last. However, this past Sunday, eight days after suffering both a stroke and heart attack, Anderson passed away at age 66. Today, some of those who knew him well reflect on the life of man who made a difference.

His is a story that needs no precise starting point, because the beauty of Dunc Anderson’s life was that it always remained consistent with his ideals.

Former Seahawks’ head coach James Johnston, who brought Anderson back to Seaquam as an assistant in 2007-08 before leaving two seasons later to become vice-principal at South Delta Secondary, recalled how deeply Anderson cared for his teams.

“With Dunc, the thing I appreciated most about him was that while he loved the superstar, he loved his No. 12 guy just as much,” Johnston said. “He wanted that No. 12 kid to go on and play post-secondary basketball, even though he may have been a football player, or a drama student that just wanted to play.”

And the kind of influence he had on his players?

Nick Day has been coaching junior and senior boys basketball teams at Surrey’s Fleetwood Park the past 13 years, and was a member of the 1993 Delta Pacers team from Ladner which, featuring standout Navi Sekhon and a very deep and capable roster, made the B.C. tournament.

And no one, Day says, can put a price on what Dunc Anderson grew to mean to so many.

“When you look back, obviously your parents play a huge role in who you are,” Day said. “They shape and they guide you. But there’s not many people outside of your family that will have that big an effect. Maybe you can point to one or two, and for me, he is one of those guys.”

Duncan Anderson was a dedicated high school teacher and basketball coach in the Delta School District. From 1974-2012 he taught and coached in 5 of the 7 secondary schools in Delta. His love for the game and commitment to developing young student athletes touched and inspired many.

The Duncan Anderson Memorial Scholarship will be awarded annually to an outstanding graduating Delta School District basketball player who demonstrates passion for the game, work ethic, leadership and commitment to team success. The student athlete will have a minimum B average for grade 11/12. The recipient will receive the scholarship amount to use towards their post-secondary education.