Back in April, the Missouri Tigers hired new head basketball coach Kim Anderson. This is Mike Alden’s 4th time hiring a basketball coach. For many Athletic Directors in BCS conferences this would automatically put him in danger of being fired if it doesn’t work out. This, however, is not necessarily the case for Mike Alden.
After the retirement of legendary coach Norm Stewart in 1999, Alden was in charge of hiring the first new head basketball coach in over 30 years. He went and got Quin Snyder, who at the time was an assistant at Duke.
Most everyone remembers how Snyder’s end came crashing down, but few remember the success he had in his first 4 years. In that time he had 4 NCAA tournament appearances and won 5 games in those 4 appearances, including getting to the Elite 8 in the ’01-’02 season.
Going into the 2003 season things were looking great for the Missouri Tigers basketball program. Ricky Paulding and Arthur Johnson were going into their senior seasons and the team was ranked 5th overall, by the AP, in the preseason poll.
In July of that year Ricky Clemons was kicked off the team before the season started, after being arrested. The season became a giant disappointment finishing the season at 16-14 and missing the NCAA Tournament.
Things only got worse for Quin Snyder from there. Phone calls were recorded from Clemon’s time in jail, to the wife of the university president, depicting rampant recruiting violations.
Luckily for Missouri, the NCAA only found a few minor violations. This stained the reputation of the onetime wonder kid, Quin Snyder. He would miss the NCAA Tournament the next 2 seasons and was fired with 6 games to go at the end of the ’05-’06 season.
Of course this being about Mike Alden, I can’t very well gloss over how Snyder was fired. Alden dispatched radio announcer Gary Link to inform Snyder that he was being let go instead of handling the job himself. To say the least this did not go over well with fans and media alike.