Travis Anderson got a taste of his new job this summer, but now he is preparing to run three different programs in the upcoming months.
A native of Derby, Kan., Anderson was hired as the Platte City recreational specialist, working in the parks and recreation program. The former Missouri Western State University football player oversees the youth sports programs in Platte City, with soccer, basketball and volleyball leagues coming up.
“I’m getting my feet wet,” Anderson said. “I haven’t had the true test of how the job goes. Fall sports is the real test what it will be like.”
The soccer season this year featured 235 players and 17 head coaches.
Anderson was on the Griffons football roster for six years, including his initial redshirt year and then a medical redshirt from a knee injury. He was a three-time All-MIAA pick, a team captain for three years and a two-time All-American.
After his playing time wrapped up for the Griffons, he was invited to a tryout camp with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016, but that is where his playing career ended.
Anderson earned a bachelor’s degree in sports recreation management from Western and is currently working toward his master’s degree in fitness management. After his initial graduation, Anderson spent two years working as the aquatic coordinator at the Missouri Western pool. While there he was in charge of reservations and was involved in scheduling for intramurals.
Anderson also spent a year as a graduate assistant working with tight ends/fullbacks for football coach Matt Williamson at Western.
He ran across the Platte City job when it was posted online and decided to throw his name in the hat.
“I wanted to work around sports and I wanted to help people and be around something I like and it has taken this direction,” Anderson said. “I enjoyed coaching athletes at the college level, but you do very little coaching. It is more date and Xs and Os and less player contact than I anticipated. I truly do enjoy coaching and developing and this gives me an opportunity to help other coaches and impact more.”
Anderson still resides in St. Joseph, but he and his wife Melissa are looking for houses in the area following graduation. His wife, a former volleyball player at Missouri Western, is also in the master’s program and will graduate in December.
Anderson initially worked out of the Civic Center; but is now based out of city hall for the time being.
“I was never in a competitive league until I got into high school, so recreation sports are what I knew and that made the transition easy,” he said. “Being around sports has been a huge part of my life and the impact on me has made the transition relatively easy.”