2015 Walt Anderson2.jpgIn 1956 Walt attended Hines School. It was one of the last one room schools in the district. Others who attended the school were Lee, Al, and Duane Gross along with Ron, Jerry and Jim Foley. The only “anti bullying policy” of the day was get tough or stay home. In 1963 Tom Glass and Walt were the inaugural members of Ellsworth’s first junior high program.
1965 through 1968 Walt wrestled on the High School jv and varsity teams. His head coach was Kirby Symes and one of the assistants was Dave Amdahl. They provided a formidable coaching duo. Walt’s senior year Ellsworth was undefeated in duals and won conference, regional, and sectional team titles.
From 1969 through 1973 Walt was in the Unites States Navy. Along with four tours to Vietnam he was able to qualify and become a member of the USN free style team in 1971.
Shortly after returning home he was introduced to Ellsworth’s new assistant wrestling coach. Kirby arranged the meeting stating “I think this is the guy we want”. The guy was Jack Radabaugh and that meeting was the beginning of a partnership that has lasted 40 plus years. Kirby was right. He was the guy for the job.
Another phone call from Kirby resulted in Walt’s involvement with wrestling coverage on the radio with WIXK. He sat along side Kirby for several years covering conference, regional, sectional and state meets. Don Hartman would also join them at the Field House during the state meet. Don, along with Bob Olson, was the host of Mat Talk. Mat Talk aired Sunday evening and was, at that time, one of the only outlets to receive wrestling news and results from the NW part of the state. Don asked Walt if he would like to be part of their program and Walt agreed.
Dave Black became part of the broadcast team as the Div. 1 commentator. That was also the start of another partnership that has lasted many years. Walt had assisted Jack on the MN/WI Senior Classic and after Jack stepped down they had the idea that we they should keep it going. From 1997 through 2004 they managed the WI side. It was a great experience meeting some of the best wrestlers WI and MN had during those years.
Walt also worked on the Northern Badger starting in 1997 when it was moved to River Falls. His duties included: announcer, seeding, pairings, and head scorer, he had his hands on all the important management duties and did a superb job.. The Northern Badger remains a great tournament for the wrestlers and coaches in Northwestern Wisconsin
Walt worked as a mason for many years and at the age of 50 decided to complete his degree in IT and became a staff member at his alma–mater until his recent retirement. Walt is married to Shelley and they have two adult children Graham and Tessa and they have a daughter-in-law Stina Anderson. Walt is enjoying his camper in the northern part of the state and spends most of that time on the water casting a fishing line.