Longtime Carson High educator, coach, and athletic director Tom Andreasen, who led the Carson High boys basketball team to the state title in 1975, has died. He was 71.
His wife, Sharon. said her husband died Friday night after a long fight against cancer.
Current CHS boys basketball coach Carlos Mendeguia said it best when commenting on Andreasen: “It’s a sad day. He was a man of high character and integrity. He was a great ambassador for basketball in northern Nevada. It’s a huge loss for basketball fans, coaches and players. Any time you needed help, he was right there for you.”
Andreasen was born in 1944 and graduated from Story County High School in 1962. He went on to play basketball at the University of Nevada, graduating in 1966.
At Virginia City, Andreasen played all four years on the varsity boys basketball team, helping the Muckers win the state title in 1959 and 1962. The 1962 title began a string of six straight championships for Virginia City. The Muckers also won 55 straight games from 1961 to 1964.
Andreasen’s 34 rebounds against Whittell in 1962 still ranks No. 3 all time for a single game in the NIAA state record book. Andreasen went on to coach Virginia City to the 1972 state title before coming to Carson the next year.
He coached at Virginia City from 1969-1972, at CHS from 1972-1982 and 1998-2000. According to the NIAA record book, he has 212 career wins. Andreasen was inducted into the NIAA Hall of Fame in 2002.
His son, Bob Andreasen, also went on to be an assistant coach for Chico State, and his daughter, Shari, also went on to become a coach.
Tom Andreasen was also the co-director of the state basketball tournament through the 1980s and early 1990s.
Ron McNutt, another legendary coach at Carson who led the Senators to two state titles in baseball, came to CHS at about the same time as Andreasen and followed Andreasen as the school’s athletic director.
McNutt was Carson’s junior varsity basketball coach when CHS won the state title and sat on the bench when the Senators beat Clark 68-67 to win the title. “One of the biggest thrills of my life,” McNutt said.
“He was a good mentor for me,” added McNutt about following Andreasen as athletic director. “He brought me in before I became athletic director to give a little direction. He really guided me in the right direction.
“I was just real close to him and his family. He was just an outstanding individual. He meant a lot to a lot of kids.”
Congressman Mark Amodei played for that 1975 team. Amodei said there were no gray areas with Andreasen. “I mean that as a compliment,” Amodei said.
Amodei said about Andreasen’s style. “‘this is what’s expected of you. This is what you’re supposed to do.’ It really helped get me ready for the things that come into your life. He’s one of those guys I’m profoundly grateful to.”
Mike Longero was the leading scorer for that state title team, who went on to play for the University of Nevada.
He also went on to become an educator at CHS and was Andreasen’s assistant coach during Andreasen’s second short stint as the boys basketball coach.
Longero was there on the ground floor when Andreasen came to CHS to make the Senators a power after doing the same at Virginia City. After winning a state title at Virginia City in 1972, Andreasen came to CHS the next season during Longero’s sophomore year. Andreasen and Longero teamed to lead CHS to its first 3A state tournament appearance in 1973, three straight state tournament berths and the 1975 state title.
“We were really happy when he took the job,” Longero said. “He would always build you up, he would never tear you down. He didn’t really have a bad thing to say about people.”
Longero said he was honored to play for Andreasen and then to be his colleague and to know his family. “He’s got just a wonderful family,” he said.
McNutt’s wife, Terrie, also worked closely with Andreasen, working as his administrative assistant for 15 years while Andreasen served as CHS athletic director. “He was passionate about athletics,” Terrie McNutt said. “He was passionate about equality for athletics. I loved working for him. It was just a pleasure working for him. He was a very kind man.”
Longtime Carson High tennis coach Diane Baker-Roberts also followed in Andreasen’s footsteps as CHS athletic director. “He was a great guy,” Baker-Roberts said. “He was quite the legend in Carson City.
“He was at everything (when he was AD),” she said. “He was always supportive of his coaches.”
Former CHS boys basketball coach Bruce Barnes, who took over for Andreasen after Andreasen served a short second stint as the boys basketball coach, served under Andreasen when he was athletic director.
“I knew him very well,” Barnes said. “He helped out the young coaches a lot. He was somebody who knew the game and you could go in and bounce ideas off.”
Appeal sportswriter Darrell Moody and Record-Courier sportswriter Dave Price contributed to this story.