April 29, 2014
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Mizzou Department of Athletics introduced its new head men's basketball coach, Kim Anderson, on Tuesday morning at the Reynolds Alumni Center on the Missouri campus. In front of 100s of local and national media, fans and Mizzou employees, Director of Athletes Mike Alden, Anderson and current Mizzou student-athletes met with media to talk to the media about the job. Below are the quotes.
Mizzou Director of Athletics Mike Alden
I certainly welcome everyone and thank you very much for being here. It's certainly a very crowded room and we appreciate certainly your passion and your interest not only in Mizzou basketball, but in the entire University of Missouri, so thank you so much for being here. Before I open with a few other comments, I'd like to say our thoughts are with the family of the University of Alabama swimmer, John Servati. Last night, he passed away very tragically in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and being one of our sister institutions in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), our thoughts are with John Servati's family and his passing last night.
Recently (last week), we met primarily with a number of folks that are here in the first row and we talked about the fact that we were preparing to go into a search mode. At that time, I spent time answering several questions and I indicated that I wouldn't have the opportunity to visit with members of the media and the Mizzou family until we were prepared to introduce our new head basketball coach and that's why we are here today.
We certainly had a very detailed and exhausted process over the course of the last several days and past week. I think a lot of those times they run together when you're going through a process like this, but we certainly had an awful lot of support from a lot of folks and we appreciate those people that we were able to count on. We also appreciate the support and the leadership from the University of Missouri system throughout our process and certainly our conclusion.
So, what was the framework for what we were doing as we were going through this exhaustive process to identify the next leader on our campus? First and foremost, we wanted to identify those traits of character, integrity, respect, and trust. Who could exemplify those characteristics each and every day as they provided leadership not only for our basketball program and our athletic program, but for our entire university and frankly for our entire state.
Who had the ability to mentor young men on-and-off the court in everything that they do. Who had the capability to represent the core values of our university; respect, responsibility, discovery, and excellence and while at the same time adhering to the academic integrity of what we do in athletics. The social responsibility aspect of who we are as men and women and then finally to able to win at a very high level was also critically important.
We had to have someone who was a proven winner and in particular if you look at this as we talk about this today; a person who has won as a player at an extremely high level, a person that won as an assistant at an extremely high level, a person who won as a head coach, a person that won conference championships, a national championship and was actually a national coach of the year.
How would you be able to bring all those things together and find someone who's also tremendously respected, and has unbelievable relationships throughout the entire country and basketball community. How could you bring all those things together to embody the characteristics that we were looking for to be the leader of our basketball program at the University of Missouri.
By combining all of those things and going throughout the entire exhaustive search, we identified the one person that we felt had all of those characteristics and more that could be able to represent our institution and that was Kim Anderson. There is also a value added component that goes along with that too. How about a person that is Missouri made, how about a person that is Mizzou made?
So you take all of those characteristics, you overlay all of those throughout everything that we're trying to look for and identify for a leadership position at this entire campus, and oh by the way has an ability to be able to be born and bred and Missouri made and that's what we identified in Kim Anderson. It's an honor for me and is a privilege to be the athletic director obviously at Mizzou, but it's a tremendous honor and privilege also to introduce the head basketball coach at the University of Missouri today in Kim Anderson.
Kim Anderson Opening Statement
"It took a long time to walk up those stairs. It took 15 years, but I'm excited to be here. I want to first thank everyone for being here. I'm going to tell you right now this will be hard for me, but I'm going to get through it. It's so great to see so many people - that means a lot to me. I want to recognize my guys on the current team. I want to tell them how excited I am to be working with them here in the future. I want to thank the administration here at the University of Missouri; I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them. I want to thank Mike Alden, deputy chancellor Middleton and the search committee. I know Chancellor Loftin had a previous engagement today, but I had the opportunity to visit with him the other day and what a remarkable man and I applaud all the work he is doing both for our current students and the alumni. I also want to thank our assistant president Dr. Tim Wolfe and the board of curators who have made this possible for me. I also want to thank my family at Central Missouri, all the players, president (Charles M.) Ambrose and athletic director Jerry Hughes for a great 12 years.
Let me start out my saying this is my dream job and you all probably figured that out a long time ago. I am Mizzou through and through. This is my home state, this is my alma mater, and I know how special this program is to so many people. It holds that same significance to me. Our student-athletes play with great pride and great intensity. We play with a team-oriented approach centered on defense. We win at a national championship level. We saw that last year and we were close a couple other times. Winning is great and winning is the ultimate, but this is Missouri and there is more to it here. We graduate our young men in the classroom. Our kids will operate with great academic integrity and compete with the same passion in the classroom. We are part of a community just like the community is a part of us. I told our guys last night that we're here to win rings, earn diplomas and make a big impact on those around us. This is bigger than basketball and that's a special opportunity we all have. As you all know, I played and coached for coach (Norm) Stewart. It may be 2014, but smart, disciplined, hard-nosed, team basketball never goes out of style. That's the only way we know how to do it here, that style of play embodies our state and our fans, and that's we're going to try and bring back.
When I arrived at Central Missouri 12 years ago, I saw a program with great tradition and great support, but it was searching for an identity. Today, I see something very similar at Missouri. We have all the ingredients to compete at the highest levels, and play championship basketball. We just have to get everyone moving in the same direction again and bring back the principles of teamwork, team-first basketball, defense and passion that made us so successful.
I'm not really a long-winded guy, but anytime a new coach comes in there will be some questions. I've heard some of them already about my age, my ability to recruit, my staff and my division I head coaching experience. These are some of the things I've learned in the past 24 hours. Apparently, I'm old. I really had no idea until yesterday. And I have to tell you it devastated me. I work out every day. I'm in pretty good shape. I'm just coaching, old ball players coach. Recruiting relationships don't change. We recruited at a high level because people trusted us with their sons and players. We recruited division I caliber players at Central Missouri. Because of relationships and connections, we won a lot of games against very good coaches and players. I'm not saying Central Missouri is the University of Missouri. Don't forget we won a national title last year after adding 10 new players. We did a pretty good job on the recruiting trail. One of the most important things in recruiting goes back to your core values. You're going to love those young men, you're going to coach them every day in your life, and you're going to demand to get the best out of them so they can reach their true potential. That's recruiting.
We're going to recruit one of the best coaching staffs in America to Mizzou. I had a chance to speak with Tim Fuller, Bryan Tibaldi, and Toby Lane last night and look forward talking with them more as we formulate our staff. This is going to be a program with a strong foundation rooted in our student-athletes and our staff. We want a staff that will attract elite talent and a staff than can develop players in all aspects of life.
My division I head coach experience; I was at Central Missouri for 12 years and as many of you know, UCM is a better job than a lot of Division I programs in the country. I had chances to look elsewhere, but working with them has made me more prepared today for this job than I was in 1999. My time at Central Missouri is an asset.
In closing, I'm excited to be your head basketball coach. This is a dream come true for my family and me. There is no place on earth I would rather be than Columbia, Missouri and there's no group of players I would rather work with than our current roster wearing black and gold,. I thank all of you for being here as we start an exciting new era of Tiger basketball. Thanks for bringing me home.
On the influence of Coach Norm Stewart...
"Coach (Norm) Stewart has obviously had a tremendous impact on my career as a player and as a coach. He taught me so many things, not just basketball, which is obviously what I want to try and do here. People always ask me; what is the one thing Coach Stewart taught you? If there is one thing I always say about Coach Stewart it is that he taught me how to survive. And I don't mean that in a bad way, he taught me how to get up when I fell down, he taught me when I had disappointments to get up and keep going."
On how the climate at Missouri changed...
"Well I think the word I used was climate, right? And since then, winter has changed over into spring. So just the change in the climate. I think, Mike can answer that question better than me. I really think for this time, I was the right fit. Obviously winning a national championship was key. I'm so grateful for those young men that I was able to coach, but I think this is just the right time, the right fit.
On thinking he would never get this chance...
"Every day, I mean I always hoped I would. In 1999, I was obviously a lot younger but as I look back as I left coaching for awhile and went to the Big 12, and as a I look back, and I'm not saying this to brown-nose the AD, but I would not have hired me either. I wasn't ready. I don't think I was prepared to run a basketball program. I think there were still a lot of things I still needed to learn. The time I spent with the Big 12 was unbelievable; I mean I had all access to all those coaches, Bobby Knight, Rick Barnes, Roy Williams etc., and I got to see, I got to learn a lot about basketball in those three years and that certainly helped me when I went forward to Central Missouri.
On when he thought he had a good idea on whether or not he had the job...
"I had a real good idea about 2:30 yesterday. This is my first major coaching search; there are a lot of moving parts in a coaching search. I was actually contacted a week ago last Saturday, I was riding my bike on the Katy Trail in Windsor, Missouri. My phone rang and it was the search committee, I didn't know that at the time, and I turned around near a town named Bryson, Missouri. I got in my car and I rode back. I had to go to the Windsor high school parking lot to get cell service. That was my first contact with the search firm and from that point on it just kind of evolved during the week. I interviewed with Mike (Alden) on Thursday at my house in Warrensburg. I had the opportunity to visit with the Chancellor on Saturday and from that point on it was just kind of going through the rest of the channels. "
On the program "Rebuilding"...
"I had a little bit of time yesterday with our guys; I don't really ever try to use the word rebuilding, hopefully it is a reloading. Obviously we lost a lot of players, and some really key players. We have some great young men. I'm looking forward to getting to know them better, to work with them, getting to watch them play. I think we will have a good basketball team, and we're not done recruiting yet either. At this point I am really optimistic and excited to be here and have the opportunity."
On connecting the passion of the golden years to recruits...
"Well I hope by style, I really want to play an aggressive, hard-nosed, passionate, energized style of basketball. There are some people in here that are old enough to have seen me play; I try to have my teams play the way that I played, whether that was good or bad, it was kind of messy at times. I really want my teams to play aggressively, and that is what we're going to do. We're going to try and guard somebody, I don't want it to be 48-45, I don't want that. I want our guys to push the basketball. I want them to play with pace but be efficient, that to me is the key, fundamentally sound, don't make stupid mistakes. We are going to try and guard, I think we have the talent and the athletic ability to be a good defensive team, just from what I've seen on tape."
On if 15 years ago he thought this day would come...
"No, no I did not. There are so many things that have to happen for a guy like me to be the head coach at one of the greatest universities in the country. I think maybe the stars lined up or whatever. Not that I didn't think I could do it, or not that I thought I got slighted or anything like that. My deal, I just felt like I probably wouldn't get that chance. Especially with a lot of you throwing out the age factor, I wasn't sure I'd ever get the chance. I'm tremendously proud to be up here, excited emotional, but this is a great day for me."
On his perspective of the program at the moment...
"There have been some pretty damn good coaches come through here the last three times, I'd like to have their records. But I think what we're searching for is hopefully an identity, a style, a brand whatever term you want to use. So that when they think of Missouri basketball, they think of hard-nosed, good defense, efficient offensively, fundamentally sound, good kids, graduate, go to class, good in the community, Missouri people. That's what we are, we are Missouri people, and that is the way I want our basketball team to be.
On how long it has been a dream job...
"I have to do some math because I am pretty old. I think when I started coaching with Coach Stewart back in the 80s. I thought as I got more into coaching, someday I would like to be the head coach at Missouri. So it has been a dream of mine for a long time, it has been something I have worked for a long time. But I have had an awful lot of help, obviously my family, just all the people that have supported me over the years and helped me. I'm not the best coach in the country; I can steal though from anybody. My staff at Central Missouri used to cringe every day, they didn't even want me to watch TV at night because they knew I'd come in the next day with some play."
On talking to his Central Missouri players...
"That was hard, still is hard. It's kind of what we all want to do when we coach, when you get 15 guys and we weren't the best team in the country. I'm not saying we were the best coached team but we weren't the best team in the country. When you can bring guys together and they want to be brought together and they want to strive, and they'll give up anything for a championship, that is pretty special. I told my guys I would be back, whenever I get a chance, and I'll hug them then.
On the difference between Division I and Division II...
"When I went to Central Missouri twelve years ago I had no idea what I was doing, which is a good reason for why they didn't hire me here in 1999. When I went there I learned something quickly, and that is Division II basketball, I'm not going to sit here and tell you we're Missouri, Kentucky or Florida but Division II basketball in many cases is really Division I, you're just playing in Division 2. And we told recruits that a lot, you can go Division I if you want, you can play at a lower level Division I school if you want, but you're not going to win a championship. At our level we have good players and great coaches.
On his relationship within the state...
"I've been in the state for most of my life. I think I have developed some good relationships with coaches and the people in the state but I think I have to do better; I have to continue to reach out to people because that is the lifeline for a program. I definitely think it helps but I've got to continue to work on it."
On how being an alumnus will help...
"Well, I think it says a lot for the quality of education for your school, I did graduate from here twice. I think I can speak from the perspective that this is my school; this is where I see you going if you come here. I think it is only a positive.
On what he did yesterday after he found out...
"Well it was a tremendous feeling. I found out that I was officially hired around 2:15. I immediately got my team together and met with them and then jumped in the car and came up here. It was great. I got the chance to meet with our team here. It was a pretty exciting ride from Warrensburg to Columbia; to be able to think that you were going to be the head coach of your alma mater and the University of Missouri. "
On meeting current players...
"It was good, it was my first time meeting them, other than playing against them last year. I think they are like any young person, I'm sure they are apprehensive, looking up there thinking what's he like? But I know we'll have an opportunity to sit down and get to know each other. I basically told them my expectations and what we expect them to do for the rest of the semester, the most important thing now is finish school and take care of your academic responsibilities. We do a little bit of basketball and then get ready for the summer and get into it full speed then. "
On the divide between the Coach Stewart Golden Era and the past 15 or so years...
"Well if there was a divide, I don't necessarily think there was one, so from that stand point the only thing I would say is that if there was one, there isn't anymore. "
Thank you all for being here and the one thing I did want to ask, is that all of you that have tickets to the games, that sit down there below where all that yellow is, would you please come to the game? And if you don't want to come, I understand there is other stuff going on, please give the ticket to somebody. Thank you.
Sophomore, Ryan Rosburg
On the first team meeting with new head coach, Kim Anderson...
"It was a stereotypical first meeting. Coach Anderson came in and introduced himself, told us what he's about and what he stands for. He told us what he expects from us and where he wants to go with the program."
What he knew about Coach Anderson before he got hired...
"I've known him for four or five years. My high school went to team camps at Central Missouri. I think he knew at the time that I was not going to go there, but he would always say stuff to my coach that when all these big time coaches quit calling me he would be happy to have me. So I somewhat had a relationship with him before, and knew what he was about. I've had so many people I have played with play for him, and they only tell good stories about him."
On the critiques of Coach Anderson...
"If you can coach, you can coach. We have great players here and I know he will hire a great coaching staff. I'm not worried about it. You can see what he has done by looking at his track record. He's going to get us playing together, and give us what we need."
On the status of the current assistant coaches (Tim Fuller, Bryan Tibaldi and Toby Lane)...
"I would love for them to stick around. I've been with them the last two years. I know what they do, and how hard they work for the program. Of course I would love to see them stay, but that's not my choice. I know whoever he (Kim Anderson) brings in will do the same thing."
Mizzou Junior, Keanau Post
On playing for Coach Anderson next season...
"It's going to be fun. He has a lot of experience so next year is going to be positive."
On the suspense of the coaching search this past week...
"It's refreshing now knowing who my coach is going to be. As a team this past week, we put all the speculation aside and didn't listen to it. We didn't know what was going to happen."
"Refreshing is the word for the day. The main focus was to finish up strong academically, and to prepare for workouts to pick up this summer."
Get To Know Mizzou's Jakeenan Gant
Jakeenan Gant enters his freshman season at Mizzou after a brilliant high school career at...
Mizzou Summer League Update
Missouri Basketball has been well-represented in the Orlando Summer League (July 5-11) with three...
Get To Know D'Angelo Allen
D'Angelo Allen is set to begin his freshman season after winning three state titles at Dallas...
Get To Know Mizzou's Namon Wright
Namon Wright comes to Mizzou after a tremendous high school career in Los Angeles, Calif. The 6-f...
Mizzou Basketball Summer Photo Gallery
Missouri Basketball is hard at work this summer. Check out this recent practice photo gallery of ...
Get To Know Mizzou Assistant Coach Rob Fulford
Rob Fulford begins his first season at the University of Missouri. The former head coach at...
Mizzou Adds Scoring Combo Guard Tramaine Isabell
Mizzou Basketball Head Coach Kim Anderson continued to add to his impressive recruiting class on ...
Mizzou Network One on One With Kim Anderson
Mizzou Head Coach Kim Anderson talked about summer workouts with the Mizzou Network. Anderson and...
Official StoreOfficial Online
AUCTIONSOfficial Mobile APP