Kim Anderson has built and continued a successful basketball program at Central Missouri (photo/UCM Athletics)

Kim Anderson is the new men’s basketball coach at the University of Missouri.  A search for a new coach at Central Missouri will begin. (photo/UCM Athletics)

The University of Missouri announced on Monday that former University of Central Missouri head coach Kim Anderson, 58, a two-time graduate of Mizzou (’79 and ’81) and the 2014 NABC National Coach of the Year, has agreed to become the 18th men’s basketball coach in school history.

Anderson will be officially introduced at a press conference at 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Fans and media are welcomed to attend this event. The move by Director of Athletics Mike Alden signaled a return to Missouri’s proud history and helps the program welcome back a “True Son” (Sedalia, Mo.) who is coming off a 30-5 record with the Mules and the 2014 NCAA Division II National Championship. Anderson’s national title run at UCM becomes even more impressive considering the program welcomed in 10 new players last season and had just one returning student-athlete averaging more than 4.7 points per game.

“We are pleased and excited to have Kim Anderson leading our program,” Alden said. “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.”

“I am excited that Kim Anderson will lead our men’s basketball program moving forward, and I welcome him back to Mizzou,” said Chancellor Bowen Loftin. “Kim is a tremendous teacher and coach with a proven track record as a winner, both as a player and as a person. More importantly, his integrity and values-centered approach will help us recruit elite student-athletes who will win championships and make us proud both on and off of the court.”

Shortly after Mizzou made the announcement, Central Missouri released a statement as well.

For the past 12 years, Kim Anderson  has brought tremendous honor to the University of Central Missouri as the Mules head basketball coach. He is not only known for the outstanding teams he has coached, including the 2014 NCAA Division II National Championship team, but for his stellar reputation as a positive influence and role model for young people both on and off the court.

With his new position at MU, Coach Anderson carries on a great tradition of outstanding coaches like Phog Allen, Gene Bartow, Joe B. Hall, Lynn Nance and Jim Wooldridge, whose careers included coaching assignments on the UCM campus. The entire UCM community celebrates Coach Anderson’s legacy at UCM, and wishes him much success in his new role. Although no decisions have been made, the university will soon begin looking at options and formulating plans to find the head coach’s successor.

“We want to thank Coach Anderson for his contributions to Mules Basketball and the University of Central Missouri,” said UCM Athletic Director Jerry Hughes. “He returned Mules Basketball to national prominence and helped to mentor young men both on and off the court. We wish him the very best in his new role at MU.”

Anderson  won nearly 75 percent of his games over a decade-plus worth of work. Anderson went 274-94 (.743) during that span and finished his career ranked among the Top 10 in career winning percentage all-time at the NCAA Division II level. In addition to his consistent winning approach, Anderson helped the Mules collect league and national hardware, winning or sharing six Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) regular season conference titles and advancing to seven NCAA Tournaments. The Mules advanced to three Final Fours under his watch, reaching the national semifinals in 2007 and 2009 before defeating West Liberty, 84-77, in the title game this year in Evansville, Ind. During its 2014 national title charge UCM earned tournament wins over Top 10 programs No. 4 Southern Connecticut State (98-88), No. 1 Metro State (71-69) and No. 7 West Liberty.

In addition to being one of the Top 10 winningest coaches in Division II history, Anderson resigns his spot in Warrensburg as the school’s all-time winningest coach. He led the Mules to three 30-win seasons, the only 30-win seasons in school history. He finished above .500 his 11 finals seasons and won 20 games seven times in 12 years, finishing among the MIAA’s top three in the league standings nine times over his final 10 seasons.

“I’m honored and humbled to have the opportunity to return to Mizzou and lead a program that our family is so vested in,” Anderson said after accepting the head coaching position Monday afternoon. “When we took over in Warrensburg 12 years ago, we faced an uphill battle. We had support, we had a winning history and great campus leadership, but the program had lost its identity. I see that same opportunity here at Missouri. We have great leadership with Dr. Loftin and Mike Alden, and I know we have a passionate fan base. We have a lot of work ahead of us and that work starts today, but as a Missourian I embrace this challenge and look forward to bringing championship basketball back to Norm Stewart Court and Mizzou Arena.”

Anderson spent 11 seasons on staff at Mizzou over two stints (1982-85 and 1991-99) and served six years as an assistant coach at Baylor (1985-91) under Gene Iba. Anderson was first a graduate assistant for Stewart from 1982-85 and helped the program to the 1983 Big Eight title, the program’s fourth straight, before taking his first full-time assistant coaching role with the Bears two years later.

In Waco, Texas, Anderson and Iba teamed to help Baylor to its first NCAA Tournament in 38 years in 1988 and returned to Missouri in a full-time capacity three seasons later, serving as an assistant coach for five more NCAA Tournament teams, including the 1993-94 squad that finished 14-0 in conference action and won the Big Eight Championship. That team earned a No. 1 seed in the 1994 NCAA Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.

As a player, Anderson embodies what it means to be a student-athlete at Mizzou. He graduated from Missouri with degrees in education in 1979 and in 1981 (Masters). He was an Academic All-Big Eight selection in 1975 and 1977. He helped Mizzou win its first Big Eight crown under the Hall of Famer Stewart in 1976 and was the Big Eight Player of the Year in 1977, averaging 18.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game as a senior. He finished his Tiger career with 1,289 points, currently No. 24 all-time in program history, and his final two seasons saw Mizzou win 20 games in back-to-back years for just the second time ever.

Anderson went on to be drafted in the second round of the 1977 NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers, playing 21 games for the late Dr. Jack Ramsey during the 1978-79 season. He later completed his professional playing career in Italy and France until returning to assist the Tigers in 1982.

Anderson is a member of numerous Hall of Fames around the state of Missouri. He was inducted into the University of Missouri Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in Springfield in 2005 as a student-athlete. He was later inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame for his coaching accomplishments in 2012. In 2006 he was named to the Mizzou Basketball All-Century Team in a fan vote.

Prior to taking over the reins at Central Missouri, Anderson served two years as assistant commissioner of the Big 12 Conference. He was the league liaison for men’s basketball and oversaw the officiating programs and the postseason tournament.