Posted: Mar 23, 2011 3:50 PM
Updated: Jun 14, 2011 5:30 PM
COLUMBIA - KOMU 8 Sports has learned that Mike Anderson will take over the Arkansas Razorback basketball program. Reports from Arkansas say the hogs offered Anderson $2.2 million a year for seven years, surpassing Missouri's prepared offer of $2 million for seven years.
"We are extremely excited to welcome home Mike Anderson to the University of Arkansas as our new head men's basketball coach," Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. "Mike is one of the outstanding head coaches in college basketball. His teams play an exciting brand of basketball that has already proven successful at both UAB and Missouri. Under Mike's leadership, I am confident the Razorbacks will be successful in the future on and off the court. The decision to hire Mike Anderson as head coach is based on my firm belief that he is the right person to lead the Razorback program today and in the years to come."
Anderson arrived back in Columbia early Wednesday evening and met with his team at 7 p.m. Wednesday night. KOMU will be showing the Missouri basketball press conference LIVE on the Mid-Missouri CW at 9pm Wednesday night and streaming it live on komu.com.
"It is a tremendous honor to be named the head men's basketball coach at the University of Arkansas," Anderson said. "I want to thank Chancellor (Dave) Gearhart and Athletic Director Jeff Long for this opportunity to lead the Razorback Basketball program. I am extremely excited to once again be a part of this special University and Razorback Athletics. With the continued passionate support of all Razorback fans, I am confident that we will have the opportunity to succeed on and off the court and continue to build on the University of Arkansas' championship tradition. I would like to thank Athletic Director Mike Alden, Chancellor Brady Deaton and Deputy Chancellor Michael Middleton for their support during my five years at the University of Missouri. I am also grateful to the student-athletes, coaches, staff, students and the Tiger fans that were a part of helping us bring winning basketball back to the University of Missouri. Together, we enjoyed tremendous success. My family and I will always be thankful for the opportunity we had to be at the University of Missouri."
Anderson requested and received written permission from the University of Missouri on Wednesday to speak with the University of Arkansas about their vacant head coaching position. ESPN reports that the Arkansas offer stands at 7 years and $2.2 million annually.
Anderson's agent, Jimmy Sexton, told a radio station on Tuesday that Anderson is negotiating a new contract with Missouri. Currently Anderson has a seven-year, $10.85 million deal but sources say the University of Missouri proposed a seven year deal for Anderson through the 2017-18 season for 14 million dollars.
Arkansas fired John Pelphrey after four seasons on March 13.
Anderson played collegiately at Tulsa, where his wife is from and where her mom still currently lives. Tulsa is just 95 miles away from Fayetteville. Anderson went on to spend 17 years as an assistant to Nolan Richardson at the University of Arkansas, helping the hogs to three Final Fours and a national title in 1994.
The hogs have a near 20,000 seat arena and play in SEC West, a division from which not one team advanced to the NCAA Tournament this season. Anderson can likely win right away there, inheriting a top ten national recruiting class. At Missouri with the new Big 12 schedule next season, Anderson would have to play two games against Kansas, Texas, Texas A&M, Kansas Sate and the rest of the league.
Anderson is 111-57 in five seasons at Missouri, including an appearance in the Elite Eight in 2009. The Tigers were 23-11 this season, losing to Cincinnati in the first round of the NCAA tournament. He was 89-41 in four season at Alabama-Birmingham before that.
Last year, he Anderson was offered a job to coach Oregon for a raise, but he rejected the offer.
KOMU is following the story and will update as confirmed information becomes available.