A new era for the Missouri Tigers’ basketball program begins today, as a Tiger returns to the “Zou”.
Former Tiger forward and former Tiger assistant coach, Kim Anderson, has officially been announced as the newest head coach of the Missouri Tigers basketball program. Anderson was previously the head coach of the University of Central Missouri Mules for 11 years, where he won the Division II National Championship in 2014.
While athletic director Mike Alden kept the details behind the head coach search very secretive, Anderson, along with former UCLA head coach Ben Howland, appeared to be the top two candidates for the job. However, it was announced on Monday that the Missouri Board of Curators had approved a contract for Anderson that will pay him around $1.2 million per year.
While Howland clearly has the better résumé, taking three consecutive Bruins teams to the Final Four between 2006-2008, it is unclear if Howland was interested in the job. ESPN analyst Dick Vitale commented at the beginning of the head coaching search that Howland had his endorsement.
Said it when job opened that Mizzou SHOULD HIRE BEN HOWLAND – he would be a good choice !
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) April 26, 2014
However, Mizzou instead went in the direction of a former Tiger in Anderson. Anderson played and was an assistant coach under Missouri legend Norm Stewart, which explains his popularity among certain fans. However, many believe that his lack of Division I coaching experience could be a problem, especially since there were other experienced coaches on the market.
I believe that Kim Anderson will be a good coach for Mizzou. A good coach, but not a great one. I am not convinced that he will turn this program into a perennial threat in the SEC, or that he could even get us into the Final Four.
I do know that he will be a huge upgrade over Frank Haith. Anderson should turn Mizzou back into a Top 3 SEC team and a NCAA tournament squad. If Anderson can recruit well and bring that tournament success he had at UCM, then the Tigers will roar back in 2014.
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