CANTON, Mo. -- An emotional end-of-the-year banquet ended Thursday night with a warm surprise for Andy Anderson.
Earlier in the day, Anderson announced he had resigned as the Canton boys basketball coach after 19 seasons. The Canton School Board officially accepted his resignation during a meeting Monday, but he hadn't gone public until Thursday.
After his team celebrated his final season, several former players, including Brandon Berhorst, who played on Canton's 2014 state tournament team, and Culver-Stockton College coach Aaron Hill, who was an all-stater under Anderson, made a surprise appearance.
"At the end, there were about seven or eight of my former players that came, and that was really special," Anderson said. "That's what it's all about. Winning is great, but it's the other things you do. You watch players grow up and go into adulthood and they have kids."
Anderson's family is why he's stepping away after 26 seasons coaching basketball. He won nine district championships at Canton, and guided the Tigers to a pair of Class 2 state tournament appearances, winning third-place in 2014 and fourth-place in 2015.
He was named The Herald-Whig Coach of the Year in 2015. He ends his career with a 368-146 record at Canton and a 456-220 mark overall.
Anderson and his wife, Beth, have two children -- Wyatt and Alexis. Anderson wants to be a home with them more. He still plans to teach physical education at the high school.
"Most of my coaching life I was single and basketball was it," Anderson said. "Then in 2013, I get married, and we had Wyatt. Then we have Alexis, and now there's more things going on. I'd like to be home helping my wife."
The success Anderson enjoyed with the Tigers made it hard to walk away. His highlight is the back-to-back state tournament trips, the only ones in program history.
"That was just huge," Anderson said. "For me as a player, that was the ultimate goal and it never happened. We finally got there in 2014. Just always trying to achieve that goal for our program. It took a while, but when we got there, it was a great thing."