School Span Years Wins Losses
Drake 1947-48 2 32 23
Bradley 1949-54 6 142 56
Michigan State 1955-65 11 125 124
FORREST (FORDDY) ANDERSON
Forddy Anderson was one of the great
college basketball coaches of his generation, and he was the first coach ever to
lead the Bradley Braves to a number one national ranking.
He coached at Bradley for six remarkable years and compiled a brilliant 142-56 record during that period. His 23-win average is one of the winningest totals in college basketball history.
His first three Bradley teams actually averaged an unprecedented 30 wins a year as they rolled up records of 27-8, 32-5 and 32-6. His 1949-1950 team remains the only team ever to finish second in both the NCAA and NIT Tournaments.
His last Bradley team, the 1953-54 team, duplicated the second place NCAA finish, finally bowing to a powerful LaSalle team in the championship game.
Following his successful Bradley career, Anderson went on to earn the respect of the Big Ten as the head coach at Michigan State University, and he later became a professional basketball scout for the Golden State Warriors.
Former ‘U’ basketball coach dies
Former MSU basketball coach Forrest “Forddy” Anderson died from complications of pneumonia on Monday at his Oklahoma home, said his son.
Anderson, 80-years-old when he died, coached the Spartans from 1954-64 and compiled a 125-124 record. He also led MSU to the Final Four in 1957.
Gus Ganakas, MSU basketball coach from 1969-1976, was a basketball coach at East Lansing High School when Anderson coached the Spartans. He remembers Anderson fondly.
“I admired his ability as a coach and his public relations talents,” he said. “Forddy was very personable, highly respected nationally and I just really liked him a lot.”
Before coming to East Lansing in 1954, Anderson coached at Drake University in Iowa and Bradley University in Illinois.
Visitation is scheduled for 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. today at the O’Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Chapel in Grand Rapids. Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Robert of Newminster Church in Ada.
Anderson is survived by four children, daughters Connie Swets, Barb Anderson and Tracey Bookout and son Forrest Jr.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Former Bradley Coach Nominated for
Basketball Hall of Fame
Story Posted: April 19, 2002 - 8:35 AM CST
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Forrest “Forddy” Anderson, the fifth head coach in Bradley men’s basketball history, was announced Thursday as one of three nominees by the Veteran’s Screening Committee for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Anderson, who also coached collegiately at Drake University (1946-48), Michigan State University (1954-65) and Hiram College (1965-70), joins sporting goods executive Grady Lewis and Earl Lloyd, a pioneer in professional basketball for African-American players, among the nominees by the Veteran’s Screening Committee.
With a 142-56 (.717) record at Bradley from 1948 to 1954, Anderson still boasts the second-best winning percentage in the program’s 98-year history. Among his highlights on The Hilltop, Anderson directed the Braves to the 1950 and 1954 NCAA Tournament championship games, the former coming on the heels of Bradley’s appearance in the 1950 National Invitational Tournament championship game. Bradley lost both of the 1950 championships in Madison Square Garden to the hometown favorite C.C.N.Y. and the two schools remain the only programs to compete for the NIT and NCAA Tournament championships in the same season.
In addition to the 1950 and 1954 national runner-up finishes, Anderson led the Braves to a fourth-place showing in the 1949 NIT and a runner-up finish to Syracuse in the 1951 National Campus Tournament, which was contested at Bradley’s Robertson Memorial Field House. Anderson’s 1949-50 (32-5) and 1950-51 (32-6) teams both won 32 games, which remain the most single-season victories in school history and stood up as The Valley record for wins in a season until Larry Bird’s 1978-79 Indiana State team went 33-1.
His success at Bradley was noticed nationally as the Braves were regulars in the Associated Press national polls during Anderson's run on The Hilltop. The 1948-49 squad was the first Bradley team to crack the A.P. Top 20 and climbed to as high as No. 7 in the final poll. The 1949-50 team reached the pinnacle of the A.P. poll and held the No. 1 spot in the final three polls. The 1950-51 Braves also held the top spot for the first two weeks of January before finishing sixth and Anderson's 1953-54 Bradley squad topped out at No. 7 in the final poll.
The Braves earned the attention, too, with a 16-16 record against A.P. Top 20 teams in Anderson's six seasons.
Following his six seasons at Bradley, Anderson took over the Michigan State program and directed the Spartans to the 1957 NCAA Tournament championship game and a trip to the 1958 NCAA Tournament. Anderson, who passed away at age 80 in 1999, also is credited for making several contributions to the game, including continuous motion offense, zone press defense and preseason conditioning programs.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will announce the Class of
2002 June 5 and the group will be enshrined into the new $103 million dollar
facility Sept. 27.