Tech great Taz Anderson dies at 77 (updated)

One of Georgia Tech’s all-time greats who later became a most successful entrepreneur and faithful alumnus, Taz Anderson died Monday. He was 77.

Anderson was a member of the Tech and Georgia sports halls of fame. At Tech, he played fullback and end and lettered three times. He was named All-SEC in 1959. He later played in 62 NFL games and was a member of the inaugural Falcons team in 1966.

Memorial service will be 11 a.m. Thursday, September 29 at the Mount Paran Church, 2055 Mt. Paran Rd NW, Atlanta. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Alexander-Tharpe Fund at the Georgia Tech Athletic Association, 150 Bobby Dodd Way, NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30332. Arrangements by H.M. Patterson & Son-Arlington Chapel, 404-851-9900. 

Anderson began his real estate career while still in the NFL. He was involved in the development, marketing and sales of commercial real estate, deals worth more than $450 million, according to the website for Taz Anderson Realty.

Taz L. Anderson Jr. was born November 15, 1938 in Savannah. Vibrant, outgoing and always ready with a story, Anderson remained devoted to his alma mater throughout his life. He led the 1985 project to expand and renovate Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The refurbished arena served as home base for the program’s rebirth under coach Bobby Cremins and also was used as the boxing venue during the 1996 Olympics.

“He was one of the people that helped me so much to put this program back together,” former athletic director Homer Rice said Monday.

He led the effort to place a statue of his beloved coach, Bobby Dodd, outside the stadium that bears his name, a project completed in 2012. Two decades earlier, he was on a committee that re-named the stadium in Dodd’s honor. Anderson also served on the Tech athletic association board for 10 years and helped with fund-raising for the department for dozens of years.

“Just an outstanding person,” Rice said.

Rice said that he last spoke with Anderson a few weeks ago after he invited Rice to speak to the group of former Tech players known as Dodd’s Boys. Afterwards, Rice said, Anderson shared that he would be going to the hospital the next day for a heart procedure. Anderson was never able to leave the hospital, Rice said.

“It’s sad story,” he said.

Read and sign the online guestbook for Taz Anderson

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