In 1994, Tanica Anderson started to HeadStart at Marietta Public Schools. Now, 30

years after she began her academic career in Marietta, she’s about to take another big

step in her life as she begins a new part of her professional career as the district’s

athletic director.

“We are thrilled to have Coach Anderson as our new athletic director,” said

Superintendent Brandi Naylor. “She’s a hometown girl, so she’s well-known and well-

liked, and she’s going to be our first-ever female AD. We know that she is going to be a

great fit for this position.”

In the years between HeadStart and head of the athletic department, Anderson

established a reputation at Marietta as a hard-working student and a hard-nosed

student athlete. She’s still remembered as one of the best basketball players to ever

come through MHS, a leader on a team that made more than one appearance to the

state tournament.

And as a track star, she was as quick as lightning. Let’s just say that not a lot of her

competitors ever got to see her face, but they were well acquainted with what she

looked like from behind. Anderson was a member of a state championship track team

as well as winning individual medals.

She graduated from MHS in 2009 and went on to play collegiate basketball in Virginia

and Texas before earning her degree from Texas Women’s University in 2016. In 2021,

after a brief stint at Madill, Anderson returned to her alma mater, this time as Coach A.

In the three years since, she has been a classroom teacher, the assistant girls’

basketball coach, and the head coach for track and field and cross country.

After serving as assistant to former AD Alex Doby, Anderson decided to apply for the

position he vacated earlier in the year.

“I felt like I should apply, that I should believe in myself, take a leap of faith, and see

what happens instead of not putting myself out there and letting them hire someone

else without even trying,” she explained.

So she applied. Then she interviewed. And then she was offered the position, which she

graciously accepted. Anderson is an humble person, by all accounts, and she would

never be one to break her arm patting herself on the back. But she doesn’t have to.

“We knew there wasn’t anyone else who has the investment in our school and

community that she does. She’s left blood, sweat, and tears on that track and in the

gym like no other applicant,” Naylor stated, “so really, the choice was not a difficult one.”

When it comes to having a pony in the race, there’s no question that Anderson has it.

But she also has a skill set that includes organization, coordination, and getting along

with all kinds of people that will serve her well in her new position.

A good athletic director oversees the entire athletic department, including coaches,

facilities, schedules, hiring of officials, overseeing budgeting for each sports program,

hiring other potential coaches/teachers, and making sure that coaches have the training

they need, whether that’s clinics or other professional requirements, among other


“I was already doing part of the job, and the rest is a matter of being organized and

being able to multi-task,” she said. “I’m looking forward to growing into this leadership

role, to helping the athletic department improve and grow. I really want our department

to be one that kids want to be a part of, and our community is proud of.”

The administration at Marietta believes strongly that Anderson is the person who can

deliver on that goal.

“Coach Anderson has a positive vision for the athletic department going forward,”

Naylor remarked, “and we believe that she has what it takes to make that vision a