The contract for Missouri’s next men’s basketball coach will be approved when the university system’s Board of Curators meets at 1 p.m. Monday, a source with knowledge of the situation told The Star.
Who that coach will be was still a mystery as of Sunday night. Missouri and its search committee has kept its process under wraps, and only one coach — Central Missouri’s Kim Anderson — is a publicly known candidate. Other possible candidates include former UCLA coach Ben Howland.
The source would not confirm that a contract with the next coach had been reached in principle as of Sunday night, but said Missouri has been in talks with more than one coach about its position.
As has been the case throughout the week, Anderson remains the only coach publicly identified as a finalist for the Tigers’ vacancy, which opened up when Frank Haith left last week for Tulsa.
Anderson told The Star in a text Sunday night he had no comment. He said Friday that he had not been offered a contract.
As of Sunday evening, neither Missouri or Central Missouri had called its players together for a team meeting, according to sources.
Anderson starred at Missouri under Norm Stewart during 1973-77 and later served on Stewart’s staff for 11 seasons during two stints.
Missouri athletic director Mike Alden asked Central Missouri for permission to speak with Anderson earlier in the week.
It’s unclear what other candidates MU may have spoken with this week.
Louisiana Tech’s Michael White may have been a candidate, but he withdrew from consideration Sunday afternoon, according to CBS Sports’ Jeff Borzello.
Howland, who took UCLA to three straight Final Fours during 2006-08, has been the subject of social media attention. He sat out of coaching last season after he was fired despite leading the Bruins to a Pac-12 championship and 25 wins in 2012-13.
Still, there has been no public indication from Missouri or Howland’s camp to confirm if he’s a serious candidate.
The University of Missouri System announced Monday's special executive session of the Board of Curators on Friday “for consideration of certain confidential or privileged communications with university counsel, negotiated contracts and personnel matters,” a necessary step before a major hire could be made.
A source with strong ties to Missouri was told before the search started that Alden wanted no leaks during the process, and Missouri has done a remarkable job keeping anything tangible under wraps.
It reflects a wider trend in major-college coaching searches, but Alden and Missouri also have ample reason to be cautious after the last coaching search.
Purdue’s Matt Painter was the top target, and it was his job if he wanted it. Those reports surfaced before Painter rebuffed Missouri and signed an eight-year extension to stay with the Boilermakers.
In the end, Haith was hired in a move that surprised at least one curator, who said the first time he’d heard Haith’s name was when he read it in the paper.