“I’m kind of a private guy,” he says with a chuckle. “I’d rather talk about the organizations than myself.” A kind and giving man, Randy Anderson likes to focus his energies outward, giving back to the community that he is so dedicated to. Throughout his enriching teaching career, his years of coaching, and current presidency of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, Anderson has brightened the lives of many through education and sports, always with compassion.
“I’ve been a resident of the Jamestown area my whole life,” he explains. “I went to the Euclid Avenue School, Washington Jr. High School, and Jamestown High School.” As he pursued higher education, Anderson didn’t stray far from home, earning his Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree from SUNY Fredonia.
He went on to teach in the Jamestown Public School system for 33 years at C.C. Ring School in Jamestown, NY. He affectionately recalls his teaching days, from the youngsters and parents he impacted to the colleagues he worked with, the years were full of lifelong friends and a rich sense of caring. “That’s what I look back most fondly on – all the people I’ve encountered. All those little things that tie your life together.” Anderson also made his mark at the high school level, coaching girls’ soccer at Jamestown High School for fifteen years. Giving of his time and enthusiastic spirit, Anderson has clearly made a difference with the area youth, through his educational and coaching efforts.
For the past 30 years, he has also spent a considerable amount of time at the Stateline Speedways racetrack as part of the crew. “I was a crew member for Dick Barton,” he says with a grin. “We won the most races, set the most records, so we decided to call it quits.” Spending many nights at the raceway, he is looking forward to being home with his wife on the weekends. “It is fun,” he explains. “But I think my wife will be happy to have me home Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.” Regionally, Anderson is known for his expertise as a Chautauqua County auto racing historian, with several pieces of writing displayed on the Chautauqua, he noted. With this legendary time behind him, he says he “will be looking for a new hobby,” but finds comfort that he can always find something to do.
With an extensive history in multiple sports, it’s no wonder that the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame contacted him to become a member of their board after his retirement from teaching. “I accepted, and a few years later, they elected me as their president,” he says. For the past three years, Anderson has volunteered as President, helping to organize events, catalogue the donations, and much more. “It’s not really work, you know – I feel like I am making a contribution to the community.” Expanding four times during his tenure, the Hall of Fame has more space, exciting exhibits, and a plethora of events open to the public. From the Annual Induction Banquet to the upcoming Open Doors Jamestown in January, the Chautauqua Hall of Fame always has something fun and exciting to offer. “It’s really a big deal,” Anderson laughs.
“We were really blessed with all the opportunities we had – that’s why we are committed to volunteering and giving back to the area,” Anderson says of himself and his family. His wife, Heidi was also a teacher in the area, and a lifelong Chautauqua County resident. Raising their son in Jamestown, and later Lakewood, the Anderson Family is thankful for the wonderful community and school systems they were happy to be a part of. “We are really tied to this community,” he muses.
Anderson is proud to be a Jamestown native, and diligently works in and for the community every day. From years dedicated to teaching children to his current endeavors as Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame President, he continues on, giving his all to his beloved home town. “I am really proud to have lived here,” he adds with a smile.