Missouri has named Kim Anderson as the next head coach of the Tigers' men's basketball team, according to the university's official athletic website on Monday.
Anderson replaces Frank Haith, who bolted Missouri after three seasons to replace Danny Manning at Tulsa earlier this month.
The 58-year-old Anderson spent the past 12 seasons as the head coach at Central Missouri, a Division II program located in Warrensburg, Mo., roughly 90 miles west of Columbia, Mo. Anderson recently earned 2014 NABC National Coach of the Year honors and is a two-time graduate of Missouri.
According to the MUTigers.com release, Anderson will officially be introduced as the 18th head coach in program history on Tuesday morning in a press conference at the university's Alumni Center.
Although Anderson has never been a head coach at the Division I level, Missouri athletics director Mike Alden expressed genuine excitement when announcing the hiring, via MUTigers.com:
We are pleased and excited to have Kim Anderson leading our program. He's a man of great character, integrity and respect. He has demonstrated the ability to mentor young men on and off the court, academically and socially. He's a proven winner on all levels, and he's built tremendous relationships around the country in the basketball community, which assists greatly with recruiting and other important aspects for a program. Lastly, the fact that he's a Missouri Tiger at heart is important, he is committed to Mizzou and has a passion to build a program of which all Tiger fans will be proud.
Anderson spent 11 seasons on the Tigers' coaching staff as an assistant during two stints in the early 1980s and 1990s. In between those stretches, Anderson was an assistant coach at Baylor for six seasons in the late 1980s.
In a dozen seasons as the head coach at Central Missouri, Anderson's teams went a combined 274-94, going 30-5 this past season en route to winning the NCAA Division II National Championship.
While the fact Anderson hasn't coached at the Division I level since he was an assistant at Mizzou in 1999 and has never before been a Division I head coach will cause some to wonder, there's no doubt that hiring Anderson makes plenty of sense, as noted by 247Sports' recruiting insider Nash Williams:
I am on board with the hire of Kim Anderson to Mizzou. Local legend who got it done at UCM. Eager to see how if he can recruit.— Nash Williams (@NashSports) April 28, 2014
Not only does he have ties to the university as an alumnus whose son is scheduled to graduate from Missouri this spring, but he has also played an important role for the men's basketball program at Missouri as both a player and an assistant coach.
Anderson was the Big Eight Player of the Year in 1977 and became a graduate assistant in 1982.
Anderson's impressive run over the past decade-plus at Central Missouri is also encouraging considering the team had brought in 10 new players last season before winning the national championship.
If Anderson can bring that same intense passion he once played with back to Missouri as the face of the program, Mizzou is sure to become a more attractive program for top-level recruits and likely to return to national prominence in the years to come.
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