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Around the Columns

Mike Anderson resigns

Jesse Hall

After five seasons as head coach of the Mizzou men’s basketball program, Mike Anderson resigned March 23, 2011, to take over the same position at the University of Arkansas Wednesday. Anderson compiled a 111-57 record, 13 wins against ranked opponents, four victories in the NCAA tournament and a 75-13 home record during his time at Columbia.

The move put MU Athletic Director Mike Alden in search mode as he listed the criteria for Missouri’s next basketball coach at Wednesday's press conference.

“It has to be somebody who wants to be at Mizzou,” Alden said. “This is a special place. The state of Missouri is a special place, and we believe our program has developed into a destination place.”

Alden also listed a commitment to continued academic success, recruiting capability, work ethic, quality public representation, the ability to mentor student-athletes and the ability to win. He did not give a time frame for hiring a new coach.

For next season’s seniors, it was an emotional evening, having learned of Anderson’s departure at about 7 p.m.

“[Arkansas] was a special place to him, somewhere where he spent 17 years,” guard Kim English said of the program where Anderson was an assistant under legendary Razorback Coach Nolan Richardson from 1985–2002. “We were ‘his family,’ and I believe those words. The Pressey boys won’t stop being his family. Marcus Denmon, Laurence Bowers won’t stop being his family.”

The Tigers return six seniors from a 2010–11 squad that finished 23-11 with an NCAA Tournament appearance.

“We’ve heard a lot of stuff going on these past few days, and I just tried to keep it in the back seat,” forward Laurence Bowers said. “I thought that he was going to stay, and it turned out differently, but he’s a great guy. I don’t want people to place a lot of bad words on him.”

For All-Big 12 guard Marcus Denmon, what was already an intensely emotional season — his cousin Marion was murdered last December in Kansas City, Mo. — became even more so.

“[Anderson] told me that it was a really tough decision he made today,” Denmon said. “I felt bad about it, but I play for Missouri. I just want to continue to worry about our program.”