Athletics News
    Former USC SID Don Andersen Dies
    Don Andersen (left).
    Don Andersen (left).

    Nov. 22, 2011

    Don Andersen, USC's sports information director from 1967 to 1973, died on Nov. 18 in Idaho from complications with diabetes and kidney failure. He was 71.

    During his tenure at USC, he helped publicize coach John McKay's Trojan football teams that won two national championships (1967 and 1972) and played in five Rose Bowls, 1968 Heisman Trophy-winning tailback O.J. Simpson and the USC baseball, men's track and men's tennis teams that won numerous NCAA titles.

    Andersen, a graduate of Santa Ana (Calif.) High, Santa Ana College and then Cal State Fullerton, came to USC after serving as the director of public information at the CIF Southern Section. He also had previously worked as a newspaper and radio reporter and in the advertising department at Disneyland.

    He left USC in 1973 to become the vice president of public relations for the World Football League and also worked with the league's Southern California Sun franchise. He then spent more than seven years in public relations and administration with the NFL's Seattle Seahawks, including as the team's acting general manager in 1982.

    From there, he started Andersen Enterprises, a sports marketing and promotions company before becoming an associate athletic director and the sports information director at Chapman. In 1990, he became the executive director of the Orange County Sports Association, running the pre-season Pigskin Classic and post-season Freedom Bowl college football games for five years. He also helped organize the Orange County Sports Hall of Fame and helped bring the first Senior PGA Tour event to Orange County.

    He is survived by his daughter, Laurie, son-in-law Stephan Velez, granddaughter Aleah, and former wife and good friend Carolyn Andersen.

    A Celebration of Life is being planned for early 2012 in Southern California.

    Donations to help with his outstanding medical bills and expenses can be sent to Laurie Velez, 2256 Tumbleweed Circle, Hayden, ID 83835.