CLASS OF 2019: Voice of the Miners Fred Anderson to be inducted into Nevada Union Athletics Hall of Fame
Across nearly two decades Fred Anderson’s voice rang through Nevada County every Friday night during football season. He was the voice of the Miners.
The play-by-play man for KNCO was widely known for his skill on the mic, knowledge of the game and his catch phase “Holy Tomatoes.”
In addition to his broadcasting talents, Anderson was a devoted family man, a successful businessman and someone who truly cared about his community.
For his years of service throughout the 1980s and ‘90s calling the Nevada Union football games, as well as his devotion to the athletes he covered, Anderson is being posthumously inducted into the Nevada Union Athletics Hall of Fame Saturday.
“People knew Fred as truly a golden-tongued orator for how he called the football games,” said close friend and fellow Hall of Fame inductee Andy Owens. “But, I think that not a lot of people knew of Fred’s general concern for the athletes.”
Anderson’s passion for sports led him into broadcasting, and in addition to calling the NU games, he was a longtime PA announcer for the Sacramento Kings.
Owens said it was Anderson’s dedication to his craft coupled with his interpersonal skills that made him an exceptional broadcaster.
“He knew how to connect with people,” said Owens. “He had a great rapport with the coaches and players during interviews.”
JUST THE TYPE OF MAN HE WAS
His skill in broadcasting was undeniable, and so was his ability to mentor young men who were in need.
“Besides his passion for announcing, he really took interest in and cared about the kids,” said Dave Humphers, who coached NU football from 1984-2012 and is being inducted into the Hall of Fame as well. “There were times when kids needed to be mentored and he’d be there for them. Sometimes a sit down, quiet conversation can really impact a young man. He took the time to be positively involved with the program on multiple levels.”
One of the players Anderson mentored was Brian Dwyer, an NU football player who survived an auto accident that caused the death of two of his friends.
“The time I spent with Fred was something I will always cherish,” Dwyer said. “Just the time we’d spend at his office in Grass Valley talking about football and life. It was a time when I needed someone to talk to. Fred just allowed me to talk about life and everyday things, and it was a time to take my mind off the reality of what I was going through. He played a big role in my life, and the time I spent with him will be something I always remember.”
Anderson’s wife, Melinda, said that’s just the type of man her husband was.
“He just loved sports so much and was very generous,” she said. “It was so much fun for him. He loved to watch the young players come up against adversity in competition and loved to watch how they figured things out, how they solved the problems and won their games or how they handled their losses.”
ROAD TO NEVADA UNION
Anderson, who passed away in 1999 at the age of 60, was born in San Francisco and grew up in Southern California. That’s where he met Melinda. The two headed east to Kalamazoo, Michigan in the late ‘60s where he spent a short time as a weather man. They then made their way to Easton, Pennsylvania, where Anderson called football games and wrestling matches for local high schools and colleges.
In 1977, Anderson and his family moved to Lake Tahoe and opened a motel in Incline Village. They would find their way to Grass Valley in the early ‘80s and Anderson quickly latched onto the local sports scene.
MAKING AN IMPACT
“He loved to be a part of the team, hanging out with the coaches and players,” Melinda Anderson said. “He loved rehashing the games, and watching the films. He loved everything about sports.”
Anderson would also make highlight tapes of his Friday night calls for the players.
“The minute I would get it, I would run out to my car and listen to it,” said Dwyer. “He did the things he did because he cared, not because he had to.”
Anderson’s devotion to the Miners was unquestioned as he sometimes would come across scheduling conflicts with NU football and his duties with the Kings. He always chose the Miners.
His commitment to the community was so well respected, Nevada Union named the press booth at Hooper Stadium after him, and created the Fred Anderson Memorial Award, which goes to the player who showed the same dedication to community that Anderson did.
“The impact he had on the community, you can’t put a dollar amount on it,” said Dwyer. “Everybody knew who Fred Anderson was. They knew his voice. And, I got to know him as a friend. I’m one of the lucky ones.”
Anderson is survived by his wife and two daughters, Tracie and Michelle.
“My daughters and I are just so thankful that people in the community remember him in such a positive way,” said Melinda.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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