Matt Zimmerman enters his fifth season as a member of the University of Missouri Men's Basketball coaching staff and has assisted Mike Anderson for the past nine seasons at the Division I level.
A 16-year coaching veteran with his basketball roots entrenched in both the collegiate and high school games, Zimmerman provides a high-energy approach to the Tiger coaching staff and a tireless work ethic on the recruiting trail.
"Matt has such a passion about the game of basketball and that's contagious for our players," Head Coach Mike Anderson said. "First and foremost, he loves working with our kids each and every day. The day-to-day improvement a player makes in our program gives Matt a great deal of satisfaction. He's also proven to be a valuable recruiter for us. Matt has made relationships with coaches all over the country and that starts with his genuine compassion for our players."
On the court, Zimmerman has proven to be a versatile teacher for the Tigers, working with both the guards and the posts. The Arkansas native played a key role in the development of Matt Lawrence becoming the program's #2 all-time three-point shooter with 244 career treys and helped Kim English become an All-Big 12 performer as a sophomore. English and Marcus Denmon were two of the Big 12's top shooters from three-point range in 2010, as the pair each hit 68 three-pointers and Denmon's 41-percent success rate from three ranked among the league's best.
"Coach Zimmerman is always willing to stay out on the court and work with you to get better," Tiger junior Marcus Denmon said. "He'll stay out there all hours of the night to rebound for you and help you with your shot. He just wants you to maximize your potential. It's really helped me improve my game these past two seasons."
During Zimmerman's four seasons under Anderson at Mizzou, the Tigers have enjoyed a number of program firsts, including the school's first-ever 30-win campaign and now back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. Mizzou also claimed its first Big 12 Conference Tournament championship, a program best 12 Big 12 victories and the school's highest final national ranking (#8) since 1993-94. In addition, Anderson and his assistants are the winningest Missouri Basketball staff through their first four years, going 88-46 through four seasons, an average of 22.0 wins per year.
Prior to his time in Columbia, Zimmerman spent four seasons with Tiger Head Coach Mike Anderson as an assistant coach at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and helped the Blazers to an 89-41 overall record and three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
During those three NCAA Tournament runs, the Blazers toppled No. 1 ranked Kentucky to reach the Sweet 16 in 2004 and defeated SEC West Champion LSU in the opening round in 2005. In 2006, UAB once again qualified for NCAA Tournament competition after racking up a 24-7 overall mark and a No. 9 seed in the "Big Dance". The Blazers finished the regular season ranked among the nation's Top 25 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls and were 2-0 vs. Big 12 Conference foes Nebraska and Oklahoma State. In 2004, UAB claimed its first Conference USA title, just one season after Anderson and Zimmerman arrived in Birmingham to rejuvenate a downtrodden program that had won just 13 games the year before their arrival.
Prior to his four seasons at UAB, Zimmerman spent seven years on the prep scene in Arkansas at Dardanelle and Plainview-Rover high schools. A native of St. Vincent, Ark., Zimmerman racked up a 74-46 record in his four campaigns at Dardanelle, with his 1999-2000 club advancing to the quarterfinals of the Class AAA State Tournament. That unit finished the season with a 24-11 overall record and a No. 7 final ranking. His 2001 team also qualified for state tournament competition while recording a 17-10 overall record. In his final season on the prep circuit, Zimmerman led Dardanelle to an 18-12 record and earned the District 4AAA tournament championship. Zimmerman was named District 4AAA Coach of the Year following the 2000 season and in his last three seasons, his Sand Lizards twice upset Arkansas' No. 2 and No. 3-ranked teams. He was named the KARV Dream Team Coach of the Year and River Valley Radio Coach of the Year in 2000.
"This is certainly an exciting time for us here at Missouri and our challenge is to continue what we have started," Zimmerman said. "We really feel like Missouri is a special place to coach and we are all excited to be part of this great tradition that has spanned over 104 years."
In the three seasons prior to becoming the head coach at Dardanelle, Zimmerman served as head basketball coach and athletics director at Plainview-Rover High School from 1995-98. Zimmerman recorded three 4B South Conference crowns and was selected the 4B South Conference's Outstanding Boys Coach in 1996. Zimmerman also coached the girls team, which advanced to the Class B State Tournament in 1997 and finished with a state ranking of No. 10.
Zimmerman was indoctrinated into the coaching profession during his time as head manager and student assistant at the University of Arkansas under Razorback head coach Nolan Richardson and assistant head coach Anderson. During his three campaigns, 1987-90, the Hogs won a pair of Southwest Conference crowns, two Southwest Conference Tournament titles and made three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Zimmerman aided with Arkansas' 1989-90 team, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament Final Four and finished with a 30-5 overall record. Zimmerman also worked with the Razorback Basketball Camp, serving as a coach from 1986-2001.
Upon graduating from Arkansas in 1990 with a degree in physical education, Zimmerman served in the United States Army from 1990-95 and achieved the rank of captain. He graduated from the U.S. Army Airborne School in 1991 and was a member of the 1st Infantry Division (The Big Red One) from 1991-95. He also served as Platoon Leader, Shop Officer, Company Executive Officer and Battalion S-1 during his Army tenure.
Zimmerman graduated from Wonderview High School (Ark.) where he was a standout on the hardwood playing for Jimmy Cunningham and Len Harris. Wonderview achieved a 133-19 record during his four seasons, including a 36-4 campaign as a junior, which culminated with a runner-up finish at the 1985 state tournament.