- Associated Press - Monday, June 23, 2014

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Washburn University officials on Monday mourned the death of baseball coach Steven Anson who died in a weekend tree-trimming accident.

Jefferson County authorities said Anson, 50, died Sunday afternoon near Grantville in northeast Kansas. The sheriff’s office said emergency responders were called to the home about 3 p.m. where Anson was pronounced dead at the scene. Additional details about the accident weren’t immediately available Monday.

Washburn athletic director Loren Ferre’ said in a statement that Anson’s death was “a tragic loss for all of us.”

“Steve was so loyal to the program and well known around the community. It’s hard to put into words right now what we’re feeling as a program,” Ferre’ said. “This is a huge loss not only for the team and the athletic program, but for the countless number of lives he has touched in his career.”

Anson’s wife, Dena, is Washburn’s university relations director.

He had coached at Washburn for 35 seasons, compiling a record of 844-798-3 with the Ichabods. He guided the Ichabods to five NAIA tournaments and was Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association coach of the year in 1994.

A native of Mishawaka, Indiana, Anson played baseball at Kansas State, winning the Big Eight batting title in 1974 with a .439 average. He holds the Kansas State career triple record with 19 and was named to the Wildcats all-century team.

Washburn men’s basketball coach Bob Chipman hired Anson as an assistant. He praised Anson for his loyalty and love of coaching.

“He’s done so much for the players, while they were here and after their college careers,” Chipman said. “He was a great role model and he will be hard to replace.”

Washburn athletics department spokesman Jeremy Wangler said Anson’s family was working on funeral arrangements Monday and that the university would provide any help requested.