COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Missouri announced on April 28 that former University of Central Missouri head coach Kim Anderson, 58, a two-time graduate of Mizzou (’79 and ’81) and the 2014 NABC National Coach of the Year, has agreed to become the 18th men’s basketball coach in school history.
The move by Director of Athletics Mike Alden signaled a return to Missouri’s proud history and helps the program welcome back a “True Son” (Sedalia, Mo.) who is coming off a 30-5 record with the Mules and the 2014 NCAA Division II National Championship. Anderson’s national title run at UCM becomes even more impressive considering the program welcomed in 10 new players last season and had just one returning student-athlete averaging more than 4.7 points per game.
“We are pleased and excited to have Kim Anderson leading our program,” Alden said. “He’s a man of great character, integrity and respect. He has demonstrated the ability to mentor young men on and off the court, academically and socially. He’s a proven winner on all levels, and he’s built tremendous relationships around the country in the basketball community, which assists greatly with recruiting and other important aspects for a program. Lastly, the fact that he’s a Missouri Tiger at heart is important, he is committed to Mizzou and has a passion to build a program of which all Tiger fans will be proud.”
“I am excited that Kim Anderson will lead our men’s basketball program moving forward, and I welcome him back to Mizzou” said Chancellor Bowen Loftin. “Kim is a tremendous teacher and coach with a proven track record as a winner, both as a player and as a person. More importantly, his integrity and values-centered approach will help us recruit elite student-athletes who will win championships and make us proud both on and off of the court.”
It’s easy to see why Anderson was targeted early by Alden. He embodies the key characteristics of his fan base and his former mentor, Norm Stewart. Anderson spent 12 seasons in total at UCM and won nearly 75 percent of his games over a decade-plus worth of work. Anderson went 274-94 (.743) during that span and finished his career ranked among the Top 10 in career winning percentage all-time at the NCAA Division II level. In addition to his consistent winning approach, Anderson helped the Mules collect league and national hardware, winning or sharing six Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) regular season conference titles and advancing to seven NCAA Tournaments. The Mules advanced to three Final Fours under his watch, reaching the national semifinals in 2007 and 2009 before defeating West Liberty, 84-77, in the title game this year in Evansville, Ind. During its 2014 national title charge UCM earned tournament wins over Top 10 programs No. 4 Southern Connecticut State (98-88), No. 1 Metro State (71-69) and No. 7 West Liberty.
In addition to being one of the Top 10 winningest coaches in Division II history, Anderson resigns his spot in Warrensburg as the school’s all-time winningest coach. He led the Mules to three 30-win seasons, the only 30-win seasons in school history. He finished above .500 his 11 finals seasons and won 20 games seven times in 12 years, finishing among the MIAA’s top three in the league standings nine times over his final 10 seasons.
“I’m honored and humbled to have the opportunity to return to Mizzou and lead a program that our family is so vested in,” Anderson said after accepting the head coaching position Monday afternoon. “When we took over in Warrensburg 12 years ago, we faced an uphill battle. We had support, we had a winning history and great campus leadership, but the program had lost its identity. I see that same opportunity here at Missouri. We have great leadership with Dr. Loftin and Mike Alden, and I know we have a passionate fan base. We have a lot of work ahead of us and that work starts today, but as a Missourian I embrace this challenge and look forward to bringing championship basketball back to Norm Stewart Court and Mizzou Arena.”