A graduate of Piute High School and Brigham Young University, Kerry Anderson coached Wayne High School’s wrestling and track teams for 39 years and won a Utahrecord 16 state wrestling championships. Kerry also coached the Badgers to seven state titles, including six in a row, in girls track and field. He once said, “Time spent in sports cannot be deducted from a man’s life.” If that’s true, he still has many years ahead of him in retirement as a Distinguished High School coach as bestowed by the Utah Sports Hall of Fame Foundation.
Kerry also was quoted, “High school activities are the other half of education. They teach you how to stick with something when times get tough.” All sports require dedication and commitment, but those words are especially true of wrestling. Kerry coached 99 individual state champions and 24 All-Americans.
His own sons accounted for 11 of those state titles. In the 1998 state meet, Wayne sent 10 wrestlers into championship matches, an amazing display of depth. In addition to the Badgers’ 16 state championships on the mat, which included a memorable run of eight titles in 10 years, Kerry’s teams finished second eight times. Wayne won 20 region titles. As he once said, “The kids take a lot of pride in keeping the tradition going.”
Kerry also is credited with launching Wayne’s successful baseball program, coaching for 20 seasons and producing many all-region and all-state players, and he got the Badgers’ softball team started, coaching for two years. He served as Wayne’s athletic director for 27 years. Some of the names in the Salina native’s coaching tree include George Chappell, Brian Pace, Rhett Jeffrey, Mitch Stevens and Blake Turner.
A 24-time Utah Wrestling Coach of the Year honoree, Kerry has been widely recognized. In 2003, he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in a class that included Fred Davis, his coach at BYU. He was selected by the Utah Wrestling Hall of Fame the previous year and, more recently, has been honored in the Utah High School Activities Circle of Fame and the Southern Utah University Circle of Fame. Kerry was a longtime Utah Cadet and Junior National wrestling team coach and accompanied the 1996 USA National Greco-Roman team to Slovenia.
Parents of four sons, Kerry and his wife, Sherrie, live in Loa.