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March 26, 2006
COLUMBIA, Mo. - "The Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball" is coming to Mizzou Arena. Following a remarkable four-year stint as head coach at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Mike Anderson was named the 16th head men's basketball coach at the University of Missouri as announced by the University on Sunday.
"It's a great day for the University of Missouri," Director of Athletics Mike Alden said. "As we progressed through our search it became very evident that Mike Anderson met all of the qualities we were looking for in our next head coach. He has an impeccable resume of success both as a player and as a coach and his blue collar manner of teaching is one that we feel Mizzou fans can identify with."
The hiring also marks an historic moment in the University of Missouri athletics department history as Anderson becomes the first African-American head coach in school annals. Anderson follows Melvin Watkins, who served as head coach on an interim basis.
"I'm simply honored and excited to become the head coach at Missouri," new Tiger Head Coach Mike Anderson said. "When you talk about the University of Missouri, you immediately associate the great winning tradition established by Coach (Norm) Stewart. Having the opportunity to coach 17 seasons at Arkansas, I am familiar with Norm Stewart-coached teams. I remember their hard-nosed style of play and the passion the fans felt for their teams. Not many programs enjoyed the same type of fan support that we did during our days at Arkansas, but Missouri was one of them. The fan support and passion surrounding this program makes me so excited to call myself a Tiger," he said.
"There were a lot of reasons to come to Missouri," said Anderson. "First was our familiarity with the program and the Big 12 Conference. Mike Alden really sold me on Missouri as a whole. The fan support, the academic opportunities and of course the tremendous facilities. These aspects will allow us to attract the types of student-athletes we need to be successful. Our goal is to win a national championship and that's why we are at Missouri. This is a challenge I am looking forward to undertaking."
For those looking to become familiar with Anderson's coaching style, simply recall the fast-paced Arkansas clubs of the 1990s, a program in which the 46-year-old spent eight seasons as the assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator. Sporting a coaching philosophy engrained on the defensive end of the floor, Anderson's clubs have annually ranked among the nation's top units in steals and were the nation's leaders in steals from 2002-05 and No. 3 in steals in 2005-06.
"It's an up-tempo brand of basketball predicated by our play on the defensive end," Anderson said. "Some folks call it Run-and-Gun, but it's actually Run-and-Execute. Our style is attack basketball with an emphasis on the defensive end of the floor. We allow our players to showcase their God-given abilities and when you see our team walk onto the floor, you will see a blue-collar unit that wins games because of how hard it plays the game. It's a style fans can enjoy and identify with."
Anderson is coming off a career-high 24 wins this season, which saw the Blazers reach the championship game of the Conference USA Tournament and face No. 8-seeded Kentucky in the opening round of NCAA Tournament in Philadelphia, Pa. UAB's 24-7 overall record in 2005-06 was the second-highest win total in school history and the most for the program in 20 seasons (25 wins in 1985-86). The record ledger also helped Anderson average an impressive 22.3 wins in his four seasons as a head coach as he finished his UAB tenure with an 89-41 (.685) overall mark.
While those 22 wins per season are impressive, it's essentially been a regularity for Anderson-coached clubs. Beginning with his days as an assistant under legendary sideline boss Nolan Richardson at Tulsa and Arkansas and continuing through his four seasons at UAB (24 seasons in all), Anderson has enjoyed 18 campaigns with 20-plus wins, an average win total of 22.8 per season and a winning percentage of .700.
While Anderson is one of the shining examples of Richardson's tutelage, the Birmingham, Ala., native has wasted little time solidifying his own coaching resume. Prior to his initial season at UAB, the Blazers struggled through a 13-17 season in 2001-02, but rallied to win 21 games under Anderson in 2002-03. That eight-game improvement marked the greatest single-season turnaround in school history and Anderson became one of just three first-year head coaches that season to win 20 games. The Blazers also finished second in Conference USA's National Division and advanced to the championship game of the C-USA Tournament, before falling to host Louisville 83-78. En route to the C-USA finale, the Blazers topped Duane Wade and No. 1 seeded Marquette (ranked No. 8 nationally) 83-76 in the quarterfinals and qualified for the Postseason NIT before falling to eventual NIT champion St. John's in the second round.
In 2004, Anderson earned Ray Meyer Conference USA Coach of the Year accolades after guiding UAB to a 22-10 overall record and a share of the league's regular-season championship with a 12-4 mark. Tabbed one of the nation's up-and-coming coaches, Anderson's Blazers finished the season No. 23 in the national polls and were NCAA Tournament spoilers, toppling Washington 102-100 in the opening round and No.1 Kentucky 76-75 in the Round of 32. That win over the top-ranked Wildcats vaulted UAB into the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1981 and the win over UW was the program's first NCAA Tournament victory since 1986.
While many experts thought the 2004-05 Blazers would be in a rebuilding mode following the loss of four valuable seniors off their Sweet 16 unit, Anderson guided his squad to yet another 22-win campaign (22-11 overall) and a second consecutive NCAA Tournament berth. The Blazers captivated national audiences with their 82-68 win over the SEC West Champion LSU before falling to Arizona in the second round. That season the Blazers were led by current Washington Wizard Donell Taylor, who made the Wizard roster as a free agent signee and has played in 40 games for the organization while making one start.
Prior to his tenure at UAB, Anderson was a long-time assistant under legendary Arkansas and Tulsa head coach Nolan Richardson. Anderson played two seasons under Richardson at Tulsa (1980-82), helping the Golden Hurricane to the Postseason NIT Championship in 1981 and the NCAA Tournament in 1982. Anderson averaged 12 points per game during those two seasons, but displayed an on-the-court toughness and savvy that prompted Richardson to add Anderson to his staff as a volunteer assistant following his graduation in 1982.
With Anderson on board, Richardson and the Golden Hurricane produced back-to-back NCAA Tournament bids in 1983-84 and 1984-85, before the duo moved to Fayetteville, Ark., to lead the University of Arkansas program.
Anderson spent 17 seasons (1985-2002) at Arkansas, which was highlighted by 12 20-win campaigns, four 30-win seasons, three Final Fours and the 1994 NCAA National Championship with a 31-3 record. UA averaged 27 wins per season during the decade of the 1990s and their 270 wins from 1990-99 were more than all but four clubs in the NCAA Division I ranks - Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina and Kansas. During his time as a full-time assistant (was a part-time assistant in 1985-86), Arkansas posted an overall record of 338-129 (.724), won the 1994 national title, earned a national runner-up finish in 1995 and advanced to the Final Four in 1990.
Anderson became Richardson's assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator in 1990-91 and is associated with the recruitment and instruction of former NBA players Todd Day, Lee Mayberry, Oliver Miller, Corliss Williamson, Isaiah Morris, Joe Johnson and Jannero Pargo.
A native of Birmingham, Ala., Anderson was an All-State and All-City guard at Jackson Olin High School before moving on to Jefferson State Junior College. Born December 12, 1959, Anderson and his wife, Marcheita, have four children, Darcheita, Michael Jr., Yvonne and Suney, and two grandchildren, Aiyanna and Mikayla.
Mike Anderson Career Coaching Record At A Glance
University of Alabama at Birmingham (Head Coach)
Year Record Pct. Highlight
2002-03 21-13 .618 NIT Quarterfinals
2003-04 22-10 .688 NCAA Sweet 16
2004-05 22-11 .667 NCAA Second Round
2005-06 24-7 .774 NCAA First Round
UAB Total 89-41 .685 Three Consecutive NCAA Appearances
University of Arkansas (Part-Time Assistant / Assistant Head Coach / Recruiting Coordinator)
Year Record Pct. Highlight
1985-86 12-16 .429 -
1986-87 19-14 .576 NIT Second Round
1987-88 21-9 .700 NCAA First Round
1988-89 25-7 .781 NCAA Second Round
1989-90 30-5 .857 NCAA Final Four
1990-91 34-4 .895 NCAA Elite Eight
1991-92 26-8 .765 NCAA Second Round
1992-93 22-9 .710 NCAA Third Round
1993-94 31-3 .912 National Champions
1994-95 32-7 .821 National Runner-Up
1995-96 20-13 .606 NCAA Third Round
1996-97 18-14 .563 NIT Runner Up
1997-98 24-9 .727 NCAA Second Round
1998-99 23-11 .676 NCAA Second Round
1999-2000 19-15 .559 NCAA First Round
2000-01 20-11 .645 NCAA First Round
2001-02 14-15 .483 -
UA Total 390-170 .696 Three Final Fours / 1994 NCAA Champions
University of Tulsa (Volunteer Assistant Coach)
1982-83 19-12 .613 NIT First Round
1983-84 27-4 .871 NCAA First Round
1984-85 23-6 .742 NCAA First Round
UAB Total 69-22 .758 Three Consecutive Postseason Appearances