The wife of Arkansas State football coach Blake Anderson has passed away at age 49. Anderson took to Twitter to announce that his wife, Wendy, lost her battle with breast cancer, saying: “There’s a celebration in heaven today cause Wendy is Home.”
“My beautiful girl has gone home to be with Jesus,” Anderson wrote on Twitter. “No more pain, no more suffering and praise Him no more cancer. She passed as peacefully & gracefully as you could ever hope. … I have been so blessed to have her by my side each day for the past 27 years.”
Anderson had announced on Monday night that he was taking a leave of absence to be with his wife.
Anderson was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in 2017. The couple was married for 27 years and have three children together.
The head coach previously discussed his wife’s diagnoses at Sun Belt Media Days.
“I fully expected we’d be standing before you today telling you, man, we beat cancer,” he said. “I would love to be telling you that. It’s just not where God has got us right now. Just limited details, I would tell you that it has been a tough summer. It’s been a long, hard summer, but she’s one of the toughest fighters I’ve ever met. We are still knee-deep in the battle, and I would just tell you the prayers are needed more now than ever before. But we just continue to fight every day, and even my players have been inspired by just her willingness to fight and not make excuses and just battle every day. So I appreciate you asking and appreciate the thoughts and prayers, and please just continue, if you can.”
Defensive coordinator David Duggan will serve as interim head coach until Anderson returns to the program.
“I know there has been an outpouring of support for Coach Anderson, Wendy and their family, not only locally, but nationally,” Athletic director Terry Mohajir said. “Coach Anderson has expressed how grateful his family is for all the thoughts and prayers, and we are also thankful for everyone’s support.
“I have 100 percent confidence in Coach Duggan, our football coaching staff and student leadership on this team to move us forward with our academics and competition.”
Arkansas State opens its 2019 campaign on August 31 against SMU.