Anderson Returns to Roots at Missouri

By Matt Tritten |

Published 04/29 2014 08:59PM

Updated 04/29 2014 11:03PM

(COLUMBIA, Mo.) As Kim Anderson took on his first Division I head coaching job, he found out right away that there would be some Mizzou detractors when they heard about the hire.

"Apparently, I'm old," Anderson said with a laugh. "I had no idea of that until yesterday."

But comments about his age or background couldn't dampen the coach's spirits in his first press conference at Missouri.

"I'm just coaching. Old ball players coach. That's what we do."

The 58-year-old was Big 8 player of the year in 1977 and was an assistant under Missouri's winningest coach, Norm Stewart, for a total of 11 years.

Despite his resume, Mizzou Athletic Director Mike Alden chose Quin Snyder as Stewart's successor in 1999. Now 15 years later, Anderson -- a Sedalia native -- says he thought this day would never come.

"Maybe the stars lined up. Not that I didn't think I could do it, or not that I thought I got slighted, or anything like that. I just felt like I probably wouldn't get that chance."

"He didn't begrudge anybody for not getting those roles and those chances when they were open at that time," Brian Grawer -- a former player under Stewart and Anderson -- said. "He handled it with class and dignity, and everything comes full circle. I mean, he's a great man, it's a great opportunity. He's the right fit for this chance right now."

While searching for his fourth coach since Stewart left in 1999, Alden decided that the program could use a boost in character, and that this is the time for Mizzou's "True Son" to return home.

"You want to make sure that you continue to insure that the leadership of your program embodies those types of characteristics that you expect from your students," Alden said. "Kim is a person that does that in outstanding fashion in all of those areas."

Coming off a national championship in his 12th season at Central Missouri, Anderson's looking to restore Tiger basketball in the same way.

The coach is also hoping to see attendance numbers at Mizzou Arena rise, and he had a message for season ticket holders.

"All of you that have tickets to the games that sit down below where the yellow is, would you please come to the game? And if you don't want to come, I understand there are other things going on, but for God's sake give them to somebody."

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