BOLINGBROOK – Funeral arrangements for former Bolingbrook High School athletic director Alec Anderson have been scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday at Kankakee Junior High School.
Anderson, 54, who left BHS a year ago to become athletic director at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, had a medical emergency while working out on a treadmill at the school Aug. 7 and was found unresponsive by staff, according to a statement from Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School District 233.
Faculty members and emergency personnel responded before Anderson was transported to Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, where he continued to receive medical attention. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Anderson's Bolingbrook friends and family described him as a well-respected, tremendous leader with a charming personality.
“He was well respected not only by those with whom he worked, but also by his colleagues throughout the Southwest Suburban Conference, the Illinois Athletic Directors Association and the Illinois High School Association,” said Rob Rose, who succeeded Anderson as BHS Assistant Principal of Athletics and Activities. “He was special to all of us at the 'Brook, especially the students who he worked tirelessly for every single day.”
"He was a pleasure to work with," Bolingbrook football head coach John Ivlow added. "When he left for H-F, I told those guys over there, 'You're getting a good one.' In the time he was there they told me, 'You weren't kidding when you said he was the best.'"
In an interview conducted just before he left BHS, Anderson called himself a “very fortunate” man, giving all the credit for the tremendous athletics and activities growth Bolingbrook High School experienced under his leadership to his predecessor, Hall of Famer Larry Bernard.
“Timing is everything. We just tried to continue what he did,” Anderson said at the time. “Yes, the state championships have been a lot of fun. But it’s been great to see the growth in the Bolingbrook programs that don’t get the notoriety that basketball or football does.”
Teams under his supervision as athletic director at three different Illinois high schools (Evanston, Urbana and BHS) won seven state championships, five of them coming during his seven-year tenure at Bolingbrook.
“I learned most of what I know with regard to athletic administration from Alec Anderson,” Rose said. “What hurts most is that I will no longer have the opportunity to pick up the phone to get advice from him on how to handle every-day situations.
“I know I speak for a lot of people when I say that he will be truly missed as a father, a husband, a son, a brother, a friend, and a colleague.”
The Rev. Jim Mitchum will officiate Wednesday's services. Attendees are asked to dress in their respective school colors, jerseys and athletic apparel.
Memorials may be made to the Alec T. Anderson Memorial Fund c/o Chris Pehlke, 850 Raintree Drive, Naperville, IL 60540.