Coach Anderson Meets Mizzou
Sporting an MU Tigers ball cap, Anderson showed visible excitement to be joining the Mizzou program. Anderson talked about his earlier encounters with Mizzou teams and his respect for the program. He named the great Missouri players of the past 25 years--Jon Sundvold, Kareem Rush, and more--and promised to bring great players and great teams back to Missouri.
Anderson continued his remarks by promising to bring the same game he's played at UAB to Mizzou, calling it the "fastest forty minutes of basketball" found anywhere. At the same time, he promised his student athletes would graduate from what he called the flagship school in the state. Anderson promised to recruit the state heavily, but also cited ties to other parts of the country from which he could draw top talent.
Anderson called himself a hard worker. He promised to get up early to practice and find a way to win. He calls it a chance to teach life skills as well as basketball skills. Anderson said he would treat the players like family, giving them love and discipline when they need it. Anderson said the "slate will be clean" for existing players to show him what they can do for the team.
Finishing his prepared remarks, Anderson first addressed the question of Mike Alden's future as athletic director, calling himself a "Mike Alden guy." Anderson said he expects to follow the leadership of Alden in the time ahead. But Anderson also said he knew enough about the program he feels confident about the future.
Asked about his thoughts on the future of the program, Anderson said he didn't come to the Big 12 just to be in the Big 12. He said he planned to win games and take the team to the NCAA tournament. Later, he said his ultimate goal is to win a national championship. He said he believes he can do that at Mizzou.
Anderson said he had talked to current players and their families, and understands the loss of coach Quin Snyder can have an effect on the team. He said it is now how job to let the team know a new day is dawning and that he is here to make things better. Anderson said players enjoy his style of basketball and will see the results of the program he is bringing to Mizzou.
Asked about whether his race (Anderson is African American) played a part in his hire, Anderson said he talked to Mike Alden about the position and believes Alden hired the best person for the job--"who just happens to be black." Anderson will be the first African-American to permanently head coach a major sport at Mizzou.
Anderson called himself "big on loyalty" and said he will look closely at the assistant coaching staff to decide where to go with the positions there. He said he would begin the process of hiring his coaching staff on Monday.
Anderson is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. He played basketball at Jackson Olin High School, then went on to begin his college career at Jefferson State Junior College. After two years there and a trip to the national junior college championship, Anderson joined coach Nolan Richardson at Tulsa, where he played guard and took the team to win the NIT as a junior, and make the NCAA tournament as a senior.
Anderson's coaching career began as a volunteer assistant at Tulsa in 1982. After two years there, he followed Richardson to become an assistant at Arkansas, spending 14 years with the program.
The 46-year-old Anderson has a wife, Marcheita, three children--Darcheita, Michael Jr., and Yvonne--and a grandchild, Aiyanna.