Anderson Named Assistant Director of Athletics

Former men's lax coach will step down after 20 years at Harvard's helm

Scott Anderson, the head coach of the Harvard men’s lacrosse team since 1988, has been appointed an assistant director of athletics, Director of Athletics Bob Scalise announced Thursday.

Anderson will step down from his head coaching position with the Crimson to focus on developing new revenue sources for the athletic department via athletic facilities, he said. There are currently four other assistant directors of athletics who perform various purposes within the department. He served as the director of the facilities and operations department at Harvard earlier in his tenure as head coach.

“This is something I had discussed with Mr. Scalise, that there was going to come some point where the balance between doing something different and doing what I had done would shift a little bit,” Anderson said. “This summer, I had five or six weeks to think about what I was doing and the relative rewards…and I just came to the conclusion that the opportunity or real chance to do something else was approaching.”

Neither a replacement nor an interim coach has been named, though a press release said that “Harvard will begin an immediate national search for a new men’s lacrosse coach.”

Anderson also said that he will maintain some duties related to Harvard lacrosse until a new coach is named. The incoming class of players—which includes freshman Dean Gibbons, who was named to the men’s Under-19 team last week—were all recruited by Anderson and will all honor their commitments to the Crimson, he said.

But despite his activity in creating a smooth transition for the new coach, Anderson said that he will have no role in deciding who that person ultimately is.

“I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to be directly involved with that process, but I do feel like they value my opinion, and that I will share,” he said. “My hope is that the things that are best about our program will be maintained, but I think new direction and new leadership is always exciting, too, and that should be an external process—external to me, that is.”

In a move that mirrors Scalise’s eventual rise to athletic director, Anderson jumps from the lacrosse sideline to the athletic department's administrative side.

Scalise was the head men’s lacrosse coach for 13 years, concluding his tenure in 1987 to pursue a degree at Harvard Business School. He held various business-related jobs until 2001, when he was named the seventh director of athletics in Harvard history.

“I'm extremely happy that Scott has accepted this new challenge,” Scalise said in a statement. “He has been a leader among his colleagues here for some time now, and his deep vision and intricate knowledge of Harvard Athletics make him a perfect fit for our management team.”

Anderson leaves his post with the Crimson as the second-winningest coach in team history. He led Harvard to four NCAA tournament appearances, including the most recent in 2006. The Crimson won the Ivy League in 1990 and made it to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament under Anderson, and he holds an overall record of 142-134 as the coach at Harvard. He also spent 10 years as an assistant coach before accepting the head job.

He said that of all the things he’ll be leaving after 30 years of Crimson lacrosse, it’s the players that he will miss most.

“I’m sad to leave the things I’ve enjoyed,” Anderson said. “The relationships with players will be hard to leave behind.”

Anderson wouldn’t say whether the assistant director of athletics position will be a long-term commitment or if he has greater, Scalise-esque ambitions.

“I have some other interests outside of Harvard, so I’m not going to define what I’m going to do in the future, but I’m happy to have the security of this, and I really enjoy that,” he said. “I don’t have a lot of reservations about it, but I don’t know where I’ll be in five years.

“I love being a part of this community, and I’m glad I can continue that,” he said. “Where that leads me, I don’t really know.”

—Staff writer Malcom A. Glenn can be reached at



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