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Homewood-Flossmoor AD’s death stuns school community

Alec Anderson

Alec Anderson

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Updated: September 10, 2013 6:16AM



Alec Anderson was remembered Thursday as a dedicated high school administrator whose top priority was to make sure students had positive experiences.

The Homewood-Flossmoor athletic director was found unresponsive Wednesday night after working out at the school. An autopsy Thursday found Anderson, 54, suffered a sudden cardiac death, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Coronary artery disease and arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease were contributing factors, the medical examiner’s office said. His death was ruled natural.

H-F girls basketball coach Anthony Smith, who saw Anderson shortly before his death, said it had been a typical day. Smith, who worked under Anderson at Bolingbrook High School and coached the Raiders to four state titles, had invited Anderson to a late lunch with sisters Morgan and Taylor Tuck, former All-Area players for the Raiders.

“He came into the gym to check in with me, which is something Alec did all the time, and it was just another day,” Smith said. “I told him that Morgan and Taylor were coming back home from (college), but he told me that he wanted to work out. If Morgan and Taylor wouldn’t have been here, I would have joined him.”

Anderson was found unresponsive near a treadmill about 7:30 p.m., officials said. The Flossmoor Fire Department took Anderson, of Kankakee, to South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, where he was pronounced dead at 8:06 p.m., according to the medical examiner’s office.

Smith said he considered Anderson a friend as much as he considered him a boss.

“We talked and joked for a while and then I left (for lunch),” said Smith, who won state titles at Bolingbrook while working under Anderson in the 2005-06 season and in three straight seasons from 2008-11. “The next thing I know, I get a phone call that he’s gone. I just saw him.

“I’m waiting for someone to say, ‘Hey, it was something else, it’s not true.’ He was always there like a coach, wanting to do the best for the kids and the school. I can’t believe it.”

Anderson was named athletic director at H-F in July 2012, after being the assistant principal of athletics and activities at Bolingbrook from 2005 to 2012.

H-F boys basketball coach Jim McLaughlin called Anderson “a great man.”

“This is a tremendous loss for the H-F community,” McLaughlin said. “He was very soft-spoken, but at the same time, he was able to get his point across. His main goal was making sure the student-athletes had a great experience.”

Anderson made his mark first as a football coach at Kankakee, leading the Kays to a 68-35 record with eight playoff appearances in 10 years from 1987-96. He also held administrative positions at Evanston and Urbana high schools.

“He was a dedicated administrator who always had the students’ best interests in mind,” Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School District 233 Supt. Von Mansfield said in a prepared statement. “He will be missed as a colleague and as a friend. Our sincere condolences and prayers go out to his family and friends.”

Anderson is survived by his wife and a daughter.

Arrangements were pending and were to be posted at www.hfhighschool.org, according to H-F’s website.



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