WARSAW – Dave Anson is leaving the Warsaw athletic department better than when he took over eight years ago.
Anson announced in May he will be leaving his post as athletic director at Warsaw Community High School. While somber in ways as the beloved leader is heading out, he’s got a nice landing spot lined up. Anson and his wife, Roz, are heading to Cape Canaveral, Florida, minutes from the space launching pad, but also steps from the Atlantic Ocean.
Not a bad spot to start anew.
“It’s going to be a change for myself and Roz, but a welcomed one,” Anson said, sipping a cup of coffee far from his desk in downtown Warsaw. “We felt it was the right thing to do for Roz’s mom, and we’re looking forward to seeing what Florida has for us.”
The Ansons are heading to Florida to help out with Roz’s mother, where they are all pitching in after the loss of Roz’s father earlier this spring. With both of the Anson children out of the house and starting their own journeys, the time just seemed right for Dave and Roz to make the move. The choice to leave Warsaw was obviously difficult, but family over friends applies.
Anson has seen quite a few changes for the better in his eight years in the big chair in the athletic office. Among the major upgrades include the turf addition to Fisher Field as well as ironing out facility issues for the better at soccer, softball and tennis. Anson has overseen an athletic program that is an annual contender, and often champion, in the All-Sports tallies for the Northern Lakes Conference and has added numerous NLC, sectional and state banners to the school mantles, including two Unified Track state championships and Ashley Erba’s track and cross country conquests. Nearly half of the Warsaw teams made appearances at their respective state championships during Anson’s tenure and dozens of individuals have also made the big show.
Anson, who was also a sophomore class principal and assistant athletic director at WCHS before his latest title, spoke very highly about the support of the Warsaw community for Tiger athletics, but also about the people who have dedicated their time as coaches, site workers and those within his own department.
“We have an outstanding group of volunteers and event workers that have allowed us to host a number of IHSAA state tournaments,” stated Anson. “We love to host them, not just so our kids are playing in a home court environment, but we love to host them to showcase Warsaw and its community. We have outstanding parking, outstanding venues. I think it’s the staff – and not just me – but the people running scoreboards, taking tickets, the setup in general. It’s the workers that allow us to pull off some of these big events.
“I’ve been here in Warsaw 19 years,” continued Anson. “Warsaw is the place where I raised my family, with (sons) Brock and Brett graduating from here in 2012 and 2014, respectively, and both were involved in sports. Their experiences and what we have had as a family, those have made this chapter in our lives very special and very rewarding.”
Where Anson heads career-wise when he gets to the Sunshine State isn’t on his front burner. After working 60-plus hour weeks basically eight years straight and taking calls and emails at all hours of the day, the hustle is not something he will soon miss. He learned to put the phone down when he got home at night, and has insisted that A-to-B doesn’t always have to apply.
“You know what you’re getting into coming in, and working as an assistant to Dave Fulkerson for five years, you know what the job is about as well as the demands,” Anson said. “Until you live it year after year, it does take its toll physically, for sure. I’m OK with not rushing into something right away.”
Warsaw announced earlier this month Matt Binkerd will take over in July as the new athletic director. Anson feels Warsaw and the Northern Lakes Conference as a whole should make the transition a smooth one.
“I love the athletic directors we have in the NLC,” Anson said with pride. “We all work together and pull for one another. Of course no one wants to leave a contest on the losing end, but I think the sportsmanship, the camaraderie, the togetherness, we are one unit. I think that’s a special thing. There are just good people running these programs.”