By the middle of last week, Missouri had pared down its men’s basketball coaching search to roughly 10 names.
Last weekend, three had emerged as finalists.
In the end, Kim Anderson was the last man standing.
Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall and Louisiana Tech’s Michael White were the other finalists MU looked at the hardest and talked with the most, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to The Star.
“But really, Kim was our guy,” the source said.
Missouri athletic director Mike Alden contracted Collegiate Sports Associates to develop a candidate list April 18, the same day former Tigers coach Frank Haith was introduced as Tulsa’s new men’s basketball coach.
By April 19, the search firm, headed up by president Todd Turner and former Wake Forest and South Carolina coach Dave Odom, had reached out to at least one candidate — Anderson, whose Central Missouri team won this year’s Division II championship.
Anderson’s name leaked April 21 to ESPN’s Andy Katz, but the rest of the search was airtight aside from occasional pronouncements this coach or that had not been contacted.
Still, Alden insisted Tuesday that MU and Collegiate Sports Associates were kicking over every rock in the search for Haith’s successor.
“We certainly had a very detailed, very exhaustive process over the course of the last several days,” Alden said.
It started with identifying the desired characteristics for Missouri's next basketball coach.
“First and foremost, we wanted to identify those traits of character, integrity, respect and trust,” Alden said. “Who could exemplify those characteristics each and every day as they provided leadership, not only for our basketball program at Mizzou and not only for our athletic program, but for our entire university and, frankly, for our state?”
Ultimately, Alden and his staff were most comfortable and confident in handing the Tigers’ reins to Anderson.
“Winning was also critically important,” Alden said. “We had to have someone that was a proven winner.”
Anderson has been a winner as a player, an assistant coach and during his time with the Mules. He played for MU’s first Big Eight championship squad under Norm Stewart before a five-year professional career. Anderson later served two stints on Stewart’s staff for teams that went 219-128. Anderson also served on Gene Iba’s staff at Baylor for five years.
“We identified the one person that we felt had all of those characteristics and more that could be able to represent our institution, and that was Kim Anderson,” Alden said. “There’s also a value-added component that goes along with that too. How about a person that’s Missouri-made?”