Former Kansas State baseball standout and current Washburn baseball coach Steve Anson died on Sunday afternoon in a tree-trimming accident on his property in Grantville.
Anson, who has served as the head coach at Wasburn since 1980, is survived by his wife, Dena Anson.
“We are deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of former Wildcat, Steve Anson,” Wildcats coach Brad Hill said a release issues by K-State. “He was one of K-State’s greatest baseball players. I have known Steve since my playing days at Emporia State, as well as coaching against him at Central Missouri. He was a first-class coach, and a person who positively impacted many lives. It was an honor to play and coach against his teams.
“The Wildcat baseball program truly lost a great teammate in Steve, and our thoughts and prayers go to his wife, Dena, and the rest of his family.”
Former Wildcat head coach Mike Clark called Anson a good friend.
“His teams were always good and very competitive,” said Clark, whose Wildcats played against Anson and Washburn six times from 1987-91. “He always had a smile, and I don’t ever remember him having a bad word to say about anybody. We lost a really good man.”
A native of Mishawaka, Ind., Anson was a four-year starter at K-State from 1973-76. He led the team in batting average and hits in each of his four seasons as a Wildcat, and he still owns the KSU record for career triples with 19.
As a sophomore in 1974, the infielder and outfielder won the Big Eight batting title en route to earning first-team all-conference honors. He also helped K-State win 14 conference games that season — the program’s record for conference wins in a single season until the mark was broken in 2013.
In 2000, Anson was one of 21 former Wildcats named to the All-Century Team.
After graduating from K-State in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and again in 1978 with a master’s in education, Anson spent one season as the head coach at Wayne State (Neb.) before joining the Washburn staff in 1979.
Anson coached 1,645 games at Washburn, compiling an 844-798-3 (.520) record. He coached three All-Americans, had two of his former players selected in the MLB Draft, and two other players play in the Majors.
“We are shocked and saddened to hear the news,” Washburn athletic director Loren Ferre said Sunday on the Washburn website. “Steve was so loyal to the program and well known around the community. It’s hard to put into words right now what we’re feeling as a program.”