Tennessee Tech Hall of Fame kicker’s son plays for his alma mater

In 1977, Wayne Anderson attended  Tech and played for the football team wearing number 17. Forty-four years later, his son, Jacob Anderson, attends the same university and plays for the same football team wearing the number 17. Wayne coaches Jacob as a volunteer kicking coach for the team and has been coaching him since he was in high school.

Jacob, who is a freshman business management major and punter/holder for the Golden Eagles football team, does not take playing for his dad’s alma mater lightly and recognizes the unique position he is in.

Jacob Anderson, freshman business management major and punter/holder for Tech, wears the same number as his dad, Wayne Anderson. (Photo provided by Jacob Anderson)

“It’s pretty special to get the chance to play where he played and to wear the same number. It is a once in a lifetime thing that I am enjoying every day,” Jacob Anderson said.

Jacob said that the player/coach relationship between he and his dad has positively impacted their relationship both on and off the field. He also mentioned that he gets to spend more time with his dad through playing football.

“[Playing for Tech] has strengthened my relationship with my dad, since I would not see him much otherwise. He can also understand me more than other coaches,” Jacob Anderson said.

Wayne, who was the kicker for Tech from 1977-1980, played professionally in the National Football League before coming back to Tech to get a degree in education in 1983. He won many awards, including Most Valuable Player his senior year. He also holds a list of records, and is in the Tech Hall of Fame. Wayne includes the opportunity to coach his son and the other Tech football players in his long list of accomplishments. 

Wayne Anderson celebrates after winning a game in the 1979 season.

“I coach because I love my son and I love the players and I love this university… I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for coach Alexander and the other coaches and the support of those guys…It’s really special,” Wayne Anderson said. 

Wayne said that he thinks it is very important for student athletes to know what they are doing is valuable and will be beneficial in life. He also stressed that, while coaching his son is a blessing, his main goal is to uplift all student athletes and guide them throughout college. 

“I want [student athletes] to know that they are where they are for a reason and that being a student athlete is a very special opportunity… I want to help them grow in spirit and in mind and show them a good path to follow,” Wayne Anderson said.