Arkansas State’s Anderson touched by tributes to his late wife

Field Level Media

September 15, 2019 at 4:06 am.

Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson was aware that Georgia fans had planned something special to honor his late wife Wendy.

But seeing the scene inside Sanford Stadium with his eyes was another thing.

“OVERWHELMED, HONORED and BEYOND GRATEFUL #NotFightingAlone,” Anderson tweeted in response to a visual tribute to Wendy, who died on Aug. 19 at age 49 after a two-year battle with breast cancer.

Instead of the color red swarming the stadium, it was pink between the hedges in honor of Wendy Anderson during Saturday’s contest, won 55-0 by the host Bulldogs.

“It has been a really emotional week,” Anderson said after the contest. “I just want to say publicly: one of the classiest moves I’ve ever seen. It’s hard to truly prepare for something like that.”

Wendy Anderson’s memory was everywhere in the stadium but perhaps nowhere more evident than the shirtless row of students who painted their upper bodies pink and had the following across their backs: REMEMBER WENDY.

Anderson said it was tough to keep his emotions in check prior to the game as he surveyed the scene. It was still tough after the game, as his voice cracked on multiple occasions during the postgame press conference.

“I would say thank you to all those who showed up today wearing pink or thinking pink,” Anderson said. “They don’t know my wife and they don’t know me and they didn’t have to do it. I’m very grateful and honored and obviously overwhelmed.”

Anderson is touched by the amount of people who are inspired by his wife’s battle.

“I feel her presence out there,” Anderson said. “She’s as competitive as I am and supported what we did and all those kids. That’s the kind of legacy that keeps you going. I don’t want to let her down, either, and her legacy. I’ve never seen anybody fight as hard as she fought the last two years. If I’m feeling sorry for myself or being lazy, I’ve got to live up to her legacy.”

Anderson, in his sixth season at Arkansas State, has a 40-27 record.