Central Missouri men’s basketball coach Kim Anderson has been asked the same question quite a bit over the last few years. Why not coach Division I basketball?
“We have a chance to win. Conference championships or conference tournament championships, regional or national championships now,” is what Anderson tells people and recruits. “There are a lot of Division I jobs where you can’t say you can win a national championship.”
Anderson has been at Central Missouri for 12 seasons and in seven of those, his teams have played in the national tournament with three trips to the Final Four. This season, improbable as it seemed at the beginning of the year, the Mules made it the Elite Eight and won three games in Evansville, Indiana over teams that were ranked fourth, first and seventh in the nation respectively.
Don’t get me wrong, the Mules were a good team (ranked 20th), but they had to play the role of underdog and Anderson’s 2013-14 team met the challenge. What’s even more impressive with this national championship team is that the roster had ten new players. Rebuilding usually means having a down year. That was not the case with this team that finished with 30 wins.
For his success, Anderson was just named the National Association of Basketball Coaches, Division II Coach of the Year.
Before leaving for Dallas and the Division I Final Four, coach Anderson spent about 20 minutes with me on the phone, talking about this past Monday’s pep rally at school, an in-game decision he made that may have turned around the championship game in his favor, plus what his future holds.
Thanks and congratulations to Coach Anderson and the Mules. Hope you enjoy our conversation!
AUDIO Conversation with Kim Anderson (18:00)