The University of Missouri announced Wednesday morning that basketball coach Kim Anderson will return for a third season.
Anderson said following Saturday’s season-ending loss to visiting Florida that he expected to meet with Missouri athletics director Mack Rhodes soon to discuss the future of the program and hoped to return next season.
The Florida loss was the fifth consecutive for Missouri — which finished the season at 10-21 overall and 3-15 in the Southeastern Conference — and was the Tigers’ 14th loss in their final 16 games.
Missouri went 9-23 overall and 3-5 in league play during the 2014-15 campaign, Anderson’s first season as the Tigers’ head coach after Frank Haith left to take the job at Tulsa.
“Mizzou basketball has a proud tradition of excellence and we have high expectations for the program and our other teams,” Rhodes said in a statement. “We expect our student-athletes to compete with integrity and class and to pursue academics with vigor; we expect our coaches to act with integrity and to serve as role models for our students; and we expect our teams to compete for championships.”
This men’s basketball season was a difficult one for our student-athletes, our coaches and for our fans, who continue to support Mizzou through challenging times. No one is satisfied with the number of wins our team has earned in the past two seasons. However, I remain resolute in my belief Mizzou can and should be a nationally relevant basketball program which competes for SEC and NCAA Championships.
Earlier this week I met with Coach Anderson to reaffirm my vision for the program and share with him my expectations for next year. No one wants to win more than Coach Anderson. He came into a very challenging situation two years ago and he is passionate about returning his alma mater to greatness. Consistent with our normal end-of-year processes, in the coming days Coach Anderson and I will review the season in greater depth and discuss any suggested changes that could benefit the program moving forward.
As we turn our attention to next season, we remain fully committed to providing our coaches and student-athletes with the resources and support they need to win at the highest level. I look forward to working with Coach Anderson to reestablish the proud and winning tradition of Mizzou basketball.”
Anderson and his coaching staff have been out on the road recruiting this week, which made it more likely that he would be back as the Tigers’ head coach for a third season.
But his future was still up in the air before Wednesday’s announcement.
“The University of Missouri men’s basketball program holds a special place in my heart and has played such a huge part in my life,” Anderson said in a statement. “Making this program great has been our goal since taking the job and obviously we’ve met a lot of adversity these first two seasons. No one is more disappointed than me, but no one is more motivated to get this program competing at a high level again.
Mack and I have met several times in recent weeks to discuss the future of the program and the direction we need to go. Mack understands the challenges we’ve faced and has been very supportive. He indicated to me from the very beginning that we’d review the year in detail once the season was complete. We started that process on Monday and will continue to work through it in the weeks ahead.
Our goal remains to compete and to win at the highest level and to do so with integrity and class. We will continue to evaluate every aspect of our program and will thoughtfully consider any options we believe can make us better. I look forward to working with Mack, our administration, our coaches, and most importantly our student-athletes to make our program one that our great fans can and should be proud of.”