Caden Anderson has been named the boys head basketball coach at Martin Luther King Magnet.
He’ll have an area legend looking over his shoulder most of the time.
Caden Anderson is the grandson of 81-year-old Charlie Anderson, who will serve as the Royals’ assistant coach. Charlie Anderson won more than 1,000 games at the high-school and junior-college levels over a 53-year career.
“First and foremost, it’s a blessing,” Caden Anderson said. “This is a dream come true. This is something I knew would take place at some point in my life, because I was confident in my abilities. To be able to accept a head-coaching job at this stage in my life, it’s a blessing from above. With that said, it comes with a lot of responsibility.”
The 27-year-old served as the assistant coach at Battle Ground Academy for the last two seasons.
“He’s a very talented and an extremely dedicated teacher and coach,” Martin Luther King Magnet athletic director Linda Miller said. “We look forward to an outstanding season.”
The Stratford High gymnasium has been named in honor of Charlie Anderson, a Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association Hall of Fame member and National Junior College Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Famer as well. Charlie Anderson led Stratford to four consecutive state-tournament appearances (from 1966-69) and last coached at Nashville Christian for 12 seasons before he was fired in April of 2014.
Caden Anderson was a four-year starter at point guard and then served as an assistant coach for his grandfather for his final two seasons at Nashville Christian.
“He’ll tell you the most fun years on the basketball court were when I played, because he didn’t have to coach,” Caden Anderson said. “He just had to coach before the games, and I would coach on the floor during the games. Coaching and being a leader on the basketball court has always come natural to me.”
Caden Anderson’s father – Chuck Anderson – served as Charlie Anderson’s long-time assistant coach.
“I’m 27 years of age, but I’ve been around the game for 27 years,” Caden Anderson said. “At dinner, we’re talking about basketball. When we’re at home, we’re watching basketball. It’s was wall-to-wall basketball.”
Anderson succeeds Brent Burns, who led the Royals to a 25-29 record over the last two seasons. Martin Luther King Magnet placed second in District 10-AA last season but was upset by Hume-Fogg in its 10-AA Tournament opener, abruptly ending its season.
Burns replaced Doc Shelton, who compiled more than 400 wins, seven state-tournament appearances and two state titles over 25 seasons.
“We’ve had seven days of practice, and I’ve worked harder the last seven days than I have the past year,” Caden Anderson said. “It is different when you are the head coach. I’ve spent more time preparing for my practices than in the hour-and-a-half practices. That first impression with these boys and the impression with their parents is the most important. You had to really set the tone from the beginning. It’s been a whirlwind.”
Despite not being able to attend any summer basketball camps, the Royals were able to scrimmage Nashville Christian, La Vergne and Riverdale on Thursday.
“It was a fun day,” Anderson said. “We are behind. All of these other schools have been working out all summer long. We’ve been doing that for a week. We’re behind, but we’re not using that as an excuse. We’re going to catch up.”