Area native's excellence earns name on stadium

Sherrie Taylor/GateHouse News Service
Former athletic director and coach Gerald “Chic” Anderson has received a number of awards at Palatine High School, including having the stadium named after him. He is a 1946 Woodhull Township High School graduate. He is pictured with his wife, Mary Lou.

A former coach and athletic director at Palatine High School has strong connections to area communities, including Woodhull, Alpha, Bishop Hill, Galva and Galesburg.

Gerald “Chic” Anderson is a Woodhull Township High School graduate, Class of 1946.

A Palatine sports arena carries the name “Chic Anderson Stadium,” so named after the former teacher and coach in 1988.

Anderson has sisters in Bishop Hill, Marian Nelson and Elnora Larson, a sister in Galva, Phyllis Tarleton; and a brother, Jack, in Woodhull. Another brother, Benny, is deceased.

His parents were well-known Woodhull residents, J.B. and Liz Anderson.

Anderson’s accolades include a Palatine High School Hall of Fame award; induction into the Illinois Athletic Director Association Hall of Fame; and being one of six in the country to be awarded the “Athletic Director Outstanding Service Award" in 1973 and 1982.

Anderson especially enjoyed basketball, growing up in a small town setting, and started his career as a teacher and coach at Somonauk High in 1954, following two years in the Army.

Anderson has taught history, biology, and economics and physical education. He has coached cross country, track, basketball, and baseball. Early in his career, he was often assistant coach.

Palatine High School became his “home” as of 1958, as P.E. teacher and U.S. History teacher.

His philosophy was to build a program other schools had to compete with, not competing in programs at other schools.

For instance, in 1969, Anderson became athletic director at Palatine High School and started the IHSA State Girls Gymnastic Meet, with the third meet held at Palatine High School. PHS  has hosted the meet since that time.

Though Anderson suffers from Parkinson’s’ Disease, he is not without goals. He plans to be out of his wheelchair and walk to a girl’s soccer game to see his freshman granddaughter play in the Chic Anderson Stadium.