Mike Anderson Biography
Mike Anderson returns to the Southeastern Conference after being named the Arkansas Razorbacks head coach. It truly is a homecoming for Anderson who spent 17 seasons as an assistant coach at Arkansas and will try to rebuild the Razorback basketball program.
Anderson was born on December 12, 1959 in Birmingham, Alabama. It was there that he attended Jackson-Olin High School. After graduating high school, he would play for Jefferson State Community College from 1978-1980. After two seasons of playing for the community college in Birmingham, Anderson would play for the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes, who were coached by Nolan Richardson.
After his college playing career was over following the 1981-1982 season, Anderson decided to go into coaching. His coaching career would start in the same place he played college ball, Tulsa. Richardson brought Anderson in as a non-paid assistant. The Golden Hurricanes would win two Missouri Valley Conference titles, make a NIT, and two NCAA Tournament appearances.
Following the 1984-1985 season, Anderson would follow Richardson to Arkansas. This was when Arkansas was still a part of the old Southwest Conference. Anderson would spend the next 17 years in Fayetteville. He would be a part of three SWC championship teams and the Razorbacks made the 1990 Final Four.
During that time, Arkansas ran what was termed “40 minutes of Hell.” Arkansas would play a fast, full court pressure style. The nation started to notice and so did other conferences looking to expand.
Arkansas would move to the Southeastern Conference starting in the 1991-1992 season. The success Arkansas had in the SWC continued in the SEC. During that time Anderson would be a part of two SEC Championship teams, a national runner up team in 1995, and the 1994 National Championship team.
Things were looking good for Arkansas and Anderson. Following the 1996-1997 season, Anderson was named the assistant head coach. But the success Nolan Richardson and Arkansas had in the early to mid 90’s did not continue. The program began to decline and Richardson would be fired before the end of the 2001-2002 season. Anderson would finish out that season as interim head coach.
He did interview for the head coach position following that season, but the bad relationship between Richardson and Arkansas kept Anderson, by this time a close friend of the former Razorbacks coach, from being hired. He would be a head coach the following season as he returned to the place he grew up Birmingham, Alabama to become the head coach at the University of Alabama- Birmingham Blazers.
Anderson took over following a 13-17 season in Birmingham. He would bring the “40 minutes of Hell” style with him. The next year UAB would go 21-13 and make the NIT. The following year Anderson would go 22-10 and make the 2004 NCAA Tournament. This would be the year that Anderson would make his mark. He lead the Blazers to the Sweet 16 by knocking out the tournament's overall #1 seed, the University of Kentucky Wildcats. Anderson would spend two more seasons at UAB going 89-41 before moving on to the University of Missouri.
Again, Anderson was brought in to rebuild a program coming off a 12-16 season. Anderson would again use a fast, full court pressing style with the Tigers. His first season he would go 18-12 followed by a 16-16 season in 2007-2008. The 2008-09 season would be his best at Missouri. That year the Tigers would go 31-7, win the Big 12 Tournament and advance to the Elite Eight before being knocked out by Connecticut.
Anderson would take the Tigers to two more NCAA Tournaments, but not advance out of the round of 32. He would go 111-57 at Missouri. After the Tigers were eliminated in the NCAA tournament and the Arkansas job was open, rumors began that Arkansas wanted Anderson as its coach. Missouri would not give up its coach so easily. The Tigers reportedly offered Anderson $2 million a year raise to stay on.
Anderson could not turn down the Razorbacks and on March 23, he signed a seven year contract, reported to be worth $2.2 million a year. His task is simple, return Arkansas to prominence in the SEC. Once Arkansas rivaled Kentucky as the top SEC basketball program and fans want that back.
On March 26, he was introduced as the new Arkansas Razorbacks coach to a crowd of about 5,000 people. He told the crowd, “I’m at home, I’m at home. As long as they want me here, I’m at home.”
Anderson is married to his wife Marcheita. He has three children and four grandchildren.
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