Shortly after Jamestown High School began the search for its next girls varsity basketball coach - the position had been vacated after only one season by Mark Nugent - Tim Anderson received a small, hand-written note from Ben Drake, Jamestown's Athletic Director.
On the note was a list, divided into two columns, though one column was, it must be admitted, much, much longer than the other.
"(Ben) sent me a little note of the pros and cons (of becoming the new coach), but it was mostly pros," Anderson said with a laugh on Saturday evening. "Later he called and asked me to meet him down at (McElrath Gymnasium)."
Tim Anderson signals instructions to his players when he coached the Falconer boys basketball team last season.
P-J photo by Scott Kindberg
At ''The Mac,'' Drake proceeded to show Anderson some of the facility's much discussed renovations, among them a pair of new digital scoreboards, remodeled locker rooms and a freshly resurfaced basketball court.
"I was definitely recruiting him," Drake said of his former player. "I've always thought highly of Tim and I just knew that he was the perfect candidate and would be a great fit (for the program)."
Anderson was impressed by the renovations, to be sure. Who wouldn't be? But they weren't the deciding factors in his decision to accept the job.
No, the clincher was something else.
"Coach Drake gave me the opportunity to come back to a place that I consider home," Anderson said.
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Anderson, 29, always wanted to coach basketball.
Following a prolific career under Drake at Jamestown High School - he played from 1999-2002, is ranked in the top 25 in school history for points scored (602), rebounds (371), assists (162) and steals (145) in a career and was, in his senior season, The Post-Journal and Erie County Interscholastic Conference Division 1 Player of the Year - he had an equally-solid four seasons on the men's basketball team at Fredonia State. Then Anderson didn't waste time pursuing his dream, becoming an assistant to former Fredonia State coach Kevin Moore right out of college.
Anderson spent a few seasons with Moore, gaining, he said, "college-level experience," was a volunteer with Drake for three seasons, coached at Persell Middle School (where he currently teaches fifth- and sixth-grade ELA) for a season and then, during 2012-2013 high school basketball season, led the Falconer boys varsity basketball team.
"For three years he was at every practice, every game and never got a penny for it," Drake said of Anderson's time as a volunteer coach with Jamestown. "He did it for the love of the game and because he enjoys coaching.
"Even going back to when Tim was in high school and playing, he was always very mature, a student of the game, a leader and great with the kids. He was one of those guys where you knew that whatever he decided to do, he'd be successful. And I am just really happy that he was able to come back to Jamestown and start coaching here."
Anderson, as one would imagine, is pretty thrilled, too.
"I feel really good about it," he said.
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With a new and talented team - the Jamestown girls won a Section 6 Class AA title for the first time since 2008 last season - Anderson has spent the last couple of months in the summer leagues teaching the squad his preferred style of play.
"I like to press," he said. "I think you'll see a more traditional style of basketball from us. I come from the Ben Drake coaching tree, so we'll do some of the same things, maybe some of the same plays. Hopefully it will be an enjoyable (brand) of basketball to watch."
And though he has instituted changes, he's not looking to diminish those already high expectations that come on the heels of a sectional-title winning season.
"I'm very much looking forward to it because we have so many girls with talent," he said. "It's been nice to watch in the summer leagues, to see not only the varsity but the jayvees and even middle schoolers play well. We've got a good future and high expectations.
"I told them from the first time we spoke, I said, 'You won the section (last year) and a few before that, but we're ready to push it to the next level now.'"
Drake, for his part, has all the faith in the world in his new colleague.
"Tim has always been a student of the game. He grew up in my program, had a good coach at Fredonia State and continued to grow his knowledge of the game. Although he's a young guy, he brings a lot of experience to the table.
"He has the right personality for the job, he's got a good group returning, the future of the program is bright and I'm glad we've got someone leading the program that can continue to develop the girls. I think he'll do great with them."