Blake Anderson made the announcement on Twitter, writing, “There’s a celebration in heaven today ’cause Wendy is home.”
“She passed as peacefully & gracefully as you could ever hope,” he said, adding that, “I have been so blessed to have her by my side each day for the past 27 years.”
— Blake Anderson (@CHbanderson) August 20, 2019
The Arkansas State Athletics Department said in a statement that Anderson, who serves as head coach, would be taking a leave of absence “during this difficult time.”
Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Terry Mohajir said that, “We will continue to pray for peace for his family and provide assistance any way we can,” adding that, “we will obviously respect and honor any amount of time he needs before he feels he can return.”
“Coach Anderson has expressed how grateful his family is for all the thoughts and prayers, and we are also thankful for everyone’s support,” Mohajir said.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Coach Blake Anderson, his wife Wendy and their entire family during this difficult time. https://t.co/eRiThqIhVG
— Arkansas Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) August 20, 2019
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) took to Twitter to express his condolences in the wake of Anderson’s death.
“Deeply saddened to hear of Wendy Anderson’s passing,” Cotton said. “May God welcome her into His loving embrace and give comfort to Coach Anderson and his family.”
Deeply saddened to hear of Wendy Anderson’s passing. May God welcome her into His loving embrace and give comfort to Coach Anderson and his family. https://t.co/eU1DweuhEp
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) August 20, 2019
Rep. Rick Crawford shared a tribute on Twitter, writing, “Her battle with cancer ended and she went home to heaven.”
“Please pray for Coach Anderson and his family as they mourn the loss of Wendy and her courageous fight against cancer,” Crawford added.
This morning, @CHbanderson said goodbye to his wife Wendy of twenty seven years as her battle with cancer ended and she went home to heaven. Please pray for Coach Anderson and his family as they mourn the loss of Wendy and her courageous fight against cancer.
— Rep Rick Crawford (@RepRickCrawford) August 20, 2019
A video shared on Twitter shows Wendy Anderson shaking hands with ASU players during a scrimmage earlier in the year.
— Austin Kellerman (@AustinKellerman) August 20, 2019
ASU cornerback Jerry Jacobs shared condolences on Twitter, writing, “I think the hardest part of losing someone isn’t having to say goodbye but it’s rather learning to live without them.”
I think the hardest part of losing someone isn’t having to say goodbye but it’s rather learning to live without them. Always trying to fill the void the emptiness that’s left inside your heart when they go👼🏾🙏🏾‼
— Jerry Jacobs (@_luhjerry) August 20, 2019
Earlier Monday, the university’s library was illuminated pink in Wendy Anderson’s honor, The Associated Press reported.
— Arkansas State Football (@AStateFB) August 20, 2019
Arkansas State said assistant head coach and defensive coordinator David Duggan will serve as interim head coach.
Anderson has gone 39-25 record in five seasons at Arkansas State. The Red Wolves open the season Aug. 31 by hosting SMU.