Hilda R. "Coach" Anderson, who was hired as Catonsville Community College's first woman coach and was an advocate for no sex discrimination in sports, died Oct. 4 of cancer at her Waverly Woods East home in Woodstock.
The former longtime Windsor Hills resident was 83.
The daughter of a shoe store owner and a homemaker, the former Hilda Roberty was born and raised in Mannington, W.Va.
After graduating from Mannington High School in 1945, she earned a bachelor's degree at Fairmont State University in Fairmont, W.Va., in 1949.
While at Fairmont, she met her future husband, Richard Anderson, whom she married in 1948.
She earned a master's degree in 1950 in education at the University of West Virginia in Morgantown, W. Va., and began her teaching career at Lander College and the Connie Maxwell School, both in Greenwood, S.C.
In 1955, Mrs. Anderson was hired as a physical education instructor at Catonsville Junior High School, and five years later, joined the staff as a phys-ed teacher at Johnnycake Junior High School when it opened.
She was teaching and coaching at Pikesville High School when she was recruited by John "Jack" Manley, the first athletic director at what was then called Catonsville Community College, now the Community College of Baltimore County.
"When we were hiring, we had to hire people who were both teachers and coaches. I went around the county looking for the best teachers and coaches and that's how I found Hilda," said Mr. Manley, who retired in 1984 from the college.
"She was an excellent teacher and had been coaching a long time. Hilda was quite a gal and was very instrumental in girls sports in the community college system," he said. "We were known early on for our sports program."
Within her first year at the college, Mrs. Anderson, who was called "Coach" by her teams, organized and began coaching the women's lacrosse, field hockey, basketball and softball teams.
Because at the time there was no athletic organization to play under, Mrs. Anderson founded the Maryland State Junior College Athletic Association and served as its president for a decade.
She was also an outspoken and strong advocate for Title IX, a federal law that prohibited sex discrimination in schools and sports.
"I'm proud of what we did for Title IX. Hilda was always going to meetings with me," said Mr. Manley. "The girls had the same uniforms as the boys and traveled as the boys did."
For years, women's basketball was defined by the six-on-six, three-dribbles-and-pass game, but Mrs. Anderson took great umbrage at this sexist view.
"It's really funny that everyone always brings up that six-on-six business. We've been playing five-on-five for a long time. Just look on my wall, all 12 of those teams that are pictured there have been playing this way, but people don't realize it," Mrs. Anderson told The Baltimore Sun in a 1978 interview.
"When we first started playing this style, the girls weren't as skilled. But now, … boy, are they really skilled. They are doing things that you would not have ever seen four of five years ago. They do reverse dribbles, one-handed jumpers, dribble between their legs. They couldn't do that a few years back," she explained.
Buck Workman, department chair of wellness at CCBC, which oversees sports, physical education and recreation, is an old friend and former colleague.
"One of her basketball teams was sixth nationally," said Mr. Workman. "She was an advocate for women's sports before there was a Title IX. She was a person way ahead of her time.
He described Mrs. Anderson as a "demanding, caring and compassionate coach."
"She always had high expectations for them and she spent enormous amounts of time with the girls she coached," he said. "She spent a lot of time talking with the girls when they had problems. She made a huge impact on their lives over the years."
Mrs. Anderson retired in 1986, but remained active in athletics as director of field games for Maryland Senior Olympics. She was inducted some years ago into the Maryland State Senior Hall of Fame.
She enjoyed golfing, duckpin bowling, and traveling with her husband along the East Coast in their motor home.
A resident of Woodstock for the last 51/2 years, Mrs. Anderson had lived for 42 years in Windsor Hills.
She was an active communicant of St. Alphonsus Rodrigues Roman Catholic Church, 10800 Old Court Road, Woodstock, where a memorial Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. Oct. 22.
In addition to her husband, a retired insurance underwriter, Mrs. Anderson is survived by a son, Richard Anderson Jr. of Columbia; two brothers, Dr. Al Roberty of Bel Air and Hugo Roberty of Tampa, Fla.; four grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun