Mike Anderson (basketball)
Anderson being interviewed by ESPN during his second season at Arkansas
December 12, 1959 |
|Jefferson State CC
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
Mike Anderson (born December 12, 1959) is the current head basketball coach for the University of Arkansas. He served as an assistant/associate head coach under Nolan Richardson at Arkansas for 17 years. Over his 12 seasons as a head coach, Anderson has compiled a 282-142 record, eight 20-win campaigns, six NCAA Tournament appearances, two Sweet 16 berths and a run to the 2009 Elite Eight. Anderson is one of just nine current Division I head coaches with 10+ years of experience and no losing seasons.
Anderson was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, where he attended Jackson-Olin High School in the Ensley-Pratt City neighborhood, leading the Mustangs to the semifinals of the Alabama state basketball tournament and averaging 19 points per game in his junior and senior years and winning all-state honors. Anderson moved on to Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham, where he was spotted by an opposing coach named Nolan Richardson. When Richardson was offered the coaching job at the University of Tulsa, he quickly offered Anderson a scholarship. In Anderson's two years with the Golden Hurricane he averaged 12 points a game, and the team won an NIT title and gained an NCAA tournament berth.
After graduating in 1982, Anderson went into substitute teaching while looking for a coaching job. Richardson brought him on to the University of Tulsa's staff as a volunteer assistant. When Richardson moved on to the University of Arkansas, he brought Anderson along as an assistant for a 17-year stint, the last five as assistant head coach. During that time, the Razorbacks won three Southwest Conference championships, two Southeastern Conference titles, three appearances in the Final Four, a national championship in 1994 and a second-place finish in 1995. When Richardson was fired, Anderson took over for the remainder of the 2001-02 season as interim head coach.
In 2002, Anderson took over the program at UAB, which was coming off a 13-17 season and had only one NCAA appearance since 1995. Anderson quickly turned the program around, leading the team to 22 wins and a National Invitation Tournament Quarterfinals appearance. Anderson then led the Blazers to three straight appearances in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. In 2004, the Blazers advanced to the Sweet Sixteen by virtue of a 76-75 upset victory over the University of Kentucky, the tournament's overall #1 seed. UAB ended the season ranked 23rd in the USA Today coaches' poll. Anderson was named Conference USA Coach of the Year, and is the only coach in UAB history to take the Blazers to the post season every year of his tenure.
Anderson was then hired in 2006 to take over the mess at the University of Missouri, rehabilitating a program that was under investigation under Quin Snyder. Anderson's first team, a collection of transfers and raw talent, went 18-12 but missed out on post-season play after a loss to Baylor in the Big 12 Tournament. His 2007-08 campaign saw the inclusion of his nephew DeMarre Carroll, a transfer from Vanderbilt, but also was hit by scandal, as a group of players (the "Athena Five", so named for where the incident took place) were arrested for a fight in a Columbia nightclub. That incident marked the second disciplinary issue of the season for Anderson's team. Before the season, starting forward Kalen Grimes had been dismissed from the team after being arrested for hitting a man with the butt of a shotgun. The Tigers finished 16-16, losing in the Big 12 Tourney to Nebraska and missing out on post-season play.
The Third Season (2008–2009)
Anderson's third season at Mizzou, the 2008-09 season brought with it many questions: How well would he be able to blend his seven new players (five freshman and two transfers) with the remaining Tigers from the previous season including the only two remaining players from the Quin Snyder era. After failing to reach the post season his first two seasons would Mike Anderson be able to lead his Tigers to an NIT or NCAA post season tournament, Missouri was picked to finish 7th in the Big 12 by the coaches. The Tigers season started off to a great start with a 9-1 record including wins over USC and Cal and a close loss to a top 25 team (Xavier) in Puerto Rico. The Tigers finished their non conference schedule with a record of 13-2. The team lost the conference opener but responded by winning eleven of their next twelve Big 12 games including a last-second win at Texas, which earned them a national ranking, and then a memorable win over their arch rival Kansas at home, where the Tigers climbed back from a 14-point halftime deficit to win the game after Zaire Taylor's game winning shot with 1.3 seconds remaining. Mike Anderson's 2008-09 Tiger team finished their last home game of the season by beating #5 Oklahoma on senior night. The Tigers went undefeated at home, winning 18 games. The Tigers then won the Big 12 Conference tournament by defeating Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Baylor (Mar. 14) on successive nights. Victories over Cornell, Marquette and Memphis pushed the Tigers into the Elite 8, where top-seeded UConn ended Missouri's run with an 82-75 win.
Anderson was also one of ten finalists for the 2008-09 Henry Iba Award. The other 9 finalists were John Calipari, Memphis; Bill Self (eventual winner), Kansas; Jamie Dixon, Pittsburgh; Mike Montgomery, California; Stew Morrill, Utah State; Matt Painter, Purdue; Oliver Purnell, Clemson, and Brad Stevens, Butler.
On March 31, 2009, Anderson signed a 7-year extension at Missouri, passing up an offer from the University of Georgia. The extension increased Anderson's base salary to $1.6 million and up to $2.2 million with incentives. The offer Anderson reportedly turned down from Georgia was worth more than $2 million a year. Anderson also turned down a $3 million a year offer to coach the University of Oregon during the summer of 2010.
Anderson's teams went 23-11 and finished 5th in the conference in both of his final two seasons with Missouri. The Tigers made the NCAA tournament both years but never finished above third place in conference during his tenure. This three-year span was the first time the team had made three or more consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament since 2003. That same three-year span is the first time the Tigers had won more than 20 games three years in a row since 1980-1983.
During the final month of Anderson's tenure at the University of Missouri, his name became linked with the Arkansas opening because of John Pelphrey's increasingly unstable job status. On March 4, 2011, Anderson dismissed the rumors, telling Columbia Tribune sportswriter Steve Walentik he planned to stay at MU for "a long time, retire here."
On March 14, Arkansas fired Pelphrey. Nine days later, Anderson accepted the head coaching position at Arkansas. The departure stunned Missouri fans, especially in light of Anderson's comments to the Tribune earlier in the month. According to MU guard Marcus Denmon, Anderson told him days before leaving that he would stay at MU and "didn't plan on changing." Anderson did not hold a press conference after accepting the Arkansas job, but Denmon, forward Laurence Bowers and guard Kim English—three players recruited to Missouri by Anderson—expressed both disappointment and understanding of Anderson's decision.
Later in the week, when Anderson held his introductory press conference at Arkansas, a reporter from KOMU traveled to Fayetteville to ask Anderson why he did not address fans or media in Columbia. Anderson denied that claim, citing a press release on Arkansas's official athletic website as the official "good-bye." Fans at the press conference booed the reporter, but Anderson told the crowd the questions were "legit," and that "Columbia was great to Mike Anderson."
On March 23, 2011, Anderson signed a 7-year contract with the University of Arkansas worth $2.2 million a year. On April 6, 2011, the University of Arkansas announced Anderson's entire coaching staff, which included Melvin Watkins. T.J. Cleveland, and Matt Zimmerman, would follow him from Missouri.
Over his first three seasons at Arkansas, Anderson has produced a 59-39 record and is the first head coach in program history to win 18 or more games in each of his first three years. Anderson has also re-established Bud Walton Arena as one of the toughest places to play and brought excitement back to the tradition-rich program. Over the last three years, Arkansas has won 51 games at Bud Walton Arena, the most over any three-year span in the arena’s 20-year history. Each of Anderson’s teams have won a program record 17 home games, while the 2012-13 squad posted just the third unbeaten SEC home record (9-0) in program history and the first since 1998. The success on and off the court has translated into fan support, as Arkansas returned to the top 25 in national attendance all three years.
In 2013-14, the Razorbacks returned to the postseason for the first time since 2008, by earning a spot in the NIT. Improving its SEC Tournament seeding by two spots for the second straight year under Anderson, Arkansas finished fifth in the league standings at 10-8 while reaching the 20-win plateau (22-12) for the first time since the aforementioned 2007-08 campaign. Highlighting the 22-win season was the program’s first-ever season sweep of SEC rival Kentucky and a 5-1 mark against teams that advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament and NIT.
The Arkansas faithful saw signs of the Coach Nolan Richardson-era style of play that Anderson teaches, as the Razorbacks led the SEC in scoring (80.1), assists (15.3), steals (8.4) and turnover margin (+5.5), figures that all ranked in the top 30 in the nation. Individual development was also critical to Arkansas’ improvement in 2013-14, as Bobby Portis became the sixth freshman in program history to earn All-SEC honors as a freshman, snagging a spot on the All-SEC second team, SEC All-Freshman squad and USBWA All-District VII team.
The influence of “The Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball” has been obvious in Anderson’s three years back in Fayetteville, as the Razorbacks finished in the top five in turnover margin and top 20 in steals each of the last two seasons. Arkansas ranked in the top 40 of six different statistical categories in 2012-13, and bested that by finishing as the only BCS team in the top 30 nationally in scoring (16th), assists (28th), steals (12th), blocks and turnover margin in 2013-14.
On January 6, 2015, it was announced that Anderson had signed a two-year contract extension, keeping him with Arkansas until 2020 if he so chooses. 
Head coaching record
|UAB (Conference USA) (2002–2006)|
|2002–03||UAB||21–13||8–8||T–2nd (Nat.)||NIT Quarterfinals|
|2003–04||UAB||22–10||12–4||T–1st||NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|2004–05||UAB||22–11||10–6||T–4th||NCAA Second Round|
|2005–06||UAB||24–7||12–2||2nd||NCAA First Round|
|UAB:||89–41 (.685)||42–20 (.677)|
|Missouri (Big 12 Conference) (2006–2011)|
|2008–09||Missouri||31–7||12–4||3rd||NCAA Elite Eight|
|2009–10||Missouri||23–11||10–6||5th||NCAA Second Round|
|2010–11||Missouri||23–11||8–8||T–5th||NCAA Second Round|
|Missouri:||111–57 (.661)||43–37 (.538)|
|Arkansas (Southeastern Conference) (2011–present)|
|2013–14||Arkansas||22–12||10–8||5th||NIT Second Round|
|Arkansas:||82–44 (.651)||38–29 (.567)|
Outside of coaching
- Missouri dismisses forward Kalen Grimes after arrest, charges
- Tigers Take the Title! Mizzou wins first conference tournament in 16 years
- Sources: Mizzou to meet with Anderson
- UAB — Mike Anderson biography
- ESPN.com — Source: Missouri to hire UAB's Anderson
- Anderson staying at Missouri