Who was R.L. Anderson?

Posted Wednesday, Jul. 10, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The Mansfield school district likes to name its school facilities after longtime educators who have made an impact on the community and students. With a young and growing community, though, even teachers, coaches and principals who are well-known to longtime residents can be a total mystery to many fresh (and even not-so-new) in town.

For most people in Mansfield, R.L. Anderson is the name of a stadium, but for almost a half century Robert Lee Anderson was a coach, teacher, counselor and football announcer for Mansfield High School.

Built in 1955, Mansfield Tiger Stadium was renamed R.L. Anderson Stadium on Nov. 3, 1989, in honor of the man who announced football games from 1956-1988 at the facility, located at East Broad Street and backing up to the railroad tracks.

Born Feb. 16, 1925, in Hurst, Anderson served in the U.S. Navy and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas Wesleyan University. He began teaching in Everman in 1945 before moving two years later to Mansfield, where he would remain until 1995. After being diagnosed with a rare nerve disease, amyasthenia gravis, in 1991, he worked part-time from 1992 until retiring in 1995.

Calling himself the “Golden Voice of the Mansfield High Tigers,” Anderson called games for junior high, junior varsity and varsity games at the stadium, back when the city had only one high school and one stadium in town and the football game was the place to be on Friday nights in the fall.

After more than three decades of calling plays and pronouncing players’ names, having the city’s only football stadium named in his honor left Anderson momentarily speechless.

“I never expected this,” he said. “I can't believe it. My seniors are here, there are some of my very first people - the '48s and '49s - and quite a few of my success stories - doctors, lawyers, teachers.

“It's wonderful.”

Anderson was married for 43 years to wife, Corrine, and had one son, Treavor. He died July 2, 1997.

- This article contains information from Star-Telegram archives.

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