A Coach's Inspiration
Missouri Tiger's head basketball coach, Mike Anderson, learns some of his great coaching skills from a long-time friend and coach, former University of Arkansas head basketball coach, Nolan Richardson. It's a relationship that dates back 27 years.
"You go all the way back to 1980 and we're playing his team in the championship game of the Junior College in Hutchinson, Kansas. Jefferson State Junior College we were a team that kind of got hot and they were undefeated at that time," Missouri basketball coach, Mike Anderson, said.
"After that game was over, I had already been named the Head Coach at Tulsa University and I had my assistant immediately go and find Mike Anderson and he did," Nolan Richardson said.
The rest is history. Anderson played for Richardson at Tulsa and then spent about two decades as an his Assistant Coach. After all that time together, Richardson and Anderson are coaching clones.
"It doesn't surprise me that he plays a whole lot of the similarities of the way we play because all of his college coaching career was geared around some of the things we had done," Richardson said.
But at the same time, it's a relationship that goes beyond basketball.
"Mike and I have visited at least twice a day and that's been 5 years," Richardson said.
"It's not only basketball but family. I named my daughter after his daughter, Yvonne," Anderson said. "You ask me a lot of stuff about family and that's what we talk about."
Richardson expects his former player to follow in his championship footsteps.
"He's a student of the game. He's constantly learning things. And I really believe that one day he'll have the Missouri Tigers a chance to win the big one," Richardson said.
Michael Kelly, KOMU Sports, Columbia.