Brad Anderson resigned as Wayzata’s head football coach Monday afternoon after 18 seasons directing one of Minnesota’s elite programs.
The Trojans won Prep Bowl titles in 2005, 2008 and 2010, a run of success in the large-school class surpassed only by Eden Prairie.
Called “Coach A” on the sidelines, Anderson, 53, set the program standard for career victories with a record of 156-47. He led the Trojans to five Prep Bowls in eight seasons from 2004-11 and recorded two undefeated seasons (2008 and 2010).
Anderson’s departure, effective immediately, clears the way for Lambert Brown to take over. Brown, an assistant coach this season, had left his job as activities director at Maple Grove to become a health teacher at Wayzata.
“If you get the opportunity to get good people into your organization, you do it, and getting Lambert was a big coup for us,” Anderson said in July.
Anderson, a 1982 Wayzata graduate, served as the Trojans’ co-head under Roger Lipelt in 1998. After one season working closely with Lipelt, Anderson grabbed the reins. A similar transition took place this year.
Anderson said Monday afternoon that “the time is right because I feel like there is someone in place who understands the values of this program the way Roger Lipelt passed them down to me.”
Among the Wayzata graduates who played for Anderson are Marion and Dominique Barber, James Laurinaitis and A.J. Tarpley, all of whom reached the NFL.
“I’ve been a part of Wayzata football for almost the past 42 years, since I was in the youth league,’’ Anderson said. “There was a lot of success that we can be proud of and it was great for me to see so many young men who went on to be successful in life.”
The past three seasons have seen the Trojans slip from their once-lofty perch. Wayzata posted a losing season in 2014 and again this fall, finishing with a 2-7 record.
Brown will be tasked with Wayzata’s revival. Before he left coaching to become the Maple Grove activities director in 2014, Brown was considered a rising star in the coaching ranks. In 2009 he led Fridley to a share of the North Suburban Conference title. In 2013 he directed Chaska to its first state tournament appearance in 39 years.
“I think the program is set up to be very successful going forward and I will be the number one Trojans fan there is,” Anderson said.
In 1981, with Anderson as their quarterback, the Trojans reached their first state tournament. He brought the program to another level as a head coach. A huge enrollment helped. With about 3,000 students, Wayzata has been the state’s first- or second-largest school for years. Football rosters were littered with double and sometime triple numbers.
Anderson works as a district alternative compensation program supervisor in the Wayzata district’s Education Services Center.
Anderson said that while he does not have future plans spelled out, “I just realized that I am young enough to pursue other dreams, and you have to give up something you love to get something you love.”
He didn’t rule out a return to coaching football but, he said, “not as the head coach at a high school.”