Anderson Named Track & Field/Cross Country Director
UCLA multi-sport alum returns to direct the track & field and cross country programs.LOS ANGELES – UCLA Athletics has named Avery Anderson Director of Track & Field and Cross Country, it was announced today by UCLA Director of Athletics Dan Guerrero.
"I am proud to announce that Avery Anderson will be joining us to lead UCLA Track & Field and Cross Country," said Guerrero. "Avery is a true Bruin who has a personal familiarity with the rich tradition and the legacy of the program. On top of that, he shares our commitment to emphasizing the academic excellence of student-athletes. I am confident that the program and our student-athletes will thrive under Avery's leadership."
Anderson, a UCLA graduate, returns to his alma mater after spending nearly 13 years in various coaching roles at California State University, Northridge. He has served as CSUN's Director of Track & Field and Cross Country since July 2011. Prior to coaching at CSUN, Anderson was a volunteer assistant track coach at Kansas State from 2002-04 and at UCLA from 2001-02. For the Bruins, he will oversee all aspects of the planning, development and administration of the track & field and cross country program, replacing Mike Maynard, who announced in May that he would not return after eight years at UCLA.
"I am thrilled to be returning to UCLA," said Anderson. "To oversee track & field and cross country at the school that gave me so much as a student-athlete is a dream come true. I feel privileged to be entrusted with a program with as storied a history as UCLA's, and I have a vision of making it the best program in the country. I look forward to working with our talented student-athletes and our coaching staff to make that vision a reality, and I sincerely thank Dan Guerrero, Dr. Christina Rivera and Gavin Crew, along with the rest of the UCLA Athletics family, for this opportunity."
During his tenure at CSUN, Anderson led Matador student-athletes to 13 team conference championship titles, 91 individual conference championship titles and 21 NCAA All-America honors. He established a conference record for team championship titles, was named the Big West Conference Women's Track & Field Coach of the Year in 2017 and 2015, and coached the only individual male NCAA Division I champions in CSUN history, in any sport, long jumpers Dashalle Andrews and Reindell Cole.
Anderson is no stranger to the winning tradition of UCLA Athletics. During his time as a student-athlete at UCLA, he competed in both football and track & field. He was a member of the NCAA runner-up 4x100 relay team his senior season and helped the UCLA track & field team win four Pac-10 Championships. A wide receiver for the Bruin football team from 1991-95, he played in the 1994 Rose Bowl after helping lead the Bruins to the 1993 Pac-10 title. Anderson played wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts from 1996-97. When a back injury ended his career, he decided to return to track & field as a decathlete.
In addition to receiving a Bachelor of Arts in political science from UCLA, Anderson earned his Master of Public Administration with honors at CSUN. Anderson's teams at CSUN also reflected his strong academic values, earning a total of 12 NCAA APR Public Recognition Awards.
Anderson is married to the former Bridget Pearson, who is also a UCLA track & field alumna. They have two children: a son, Andy, and daughter, Avery.
What they are saying about Avery Anderson:
"I have had the pleasure of watching Avery develop as a young man for the past 20 years. From the time he was an athlete at UCLA, I have always known him to be a respectful individual with high morals and a great work ethic. He is self-disciplined and motivated and is always striving to be the best that he can be. Observing him as a volunteer coach at UCLA, it became evident early in his coaching career that he possesses the qualities it takes to be a great coach and mentor. In the years that have passed since then, he has developed into one of our sport's truly great coaches."
– Olympic gold medalist and two-time Olympian Rafer Johnson
"One of Avery's greatest strengths is his focus on ensuring student-athletes grow to become multi-dimensional people, equipped with the tools to succeed not only on the track, but also in the classroom, in the community and in life. I am confident that the program is in very capable hands with Avery, and I look forward to seeing how he impacts the UCLA track and field and cross country programs, particularly on the women's side, which is near and dear to my heart."
– Three-time Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee
"I've known Avery since high school. He quietly goes about his job and delivers excellence. The people at CSUN have already seen that. The program is a reflection of the head coach, and you need someone who can go into living rooms and connect with those kids. Avery can do that. I look forward to helping my old teammate out in any way I can."
– Four-time Olympic medalist Ato Boldon