Eight years. Zero Sweet 16 appearances.
That may have been the formula that led the University of Arkansas to make “a change in leadership” in its men’s basketball program on Tuesday (March 26).
UA Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek said Razorbacks basketball coach Mike Anderson has been dismissed as head coach.
Anderson recently completed his eighth season as the head coach of the Razorback men’s basketball team and his 25th season overall as a member of the Razorback men’s basketball program, but his teams have struggled in the postseason. Most recently, the team finished with an 18-16 record and a loss at Indiana in the second round of the NIT.
“After a review of the program, including an analysis of the past eight years and a look forward, I have made a decision that a change in leadership will best position our men’s basketball program for future success,” Yurachek said in a press release. “In the past eight seasons, we have won a number of games and have made appearances in both the NIT and the NCAA Tournaments. However, in my evaluation, we have not sustained a consistent level of success against the most competitive teams in the nation to enable us to compete for SEC and NCAA Championships on an annual basis. That will continue to be the benchmark for our success throughout our athletic program.
“During his tenure with our program, Mike Anderson has represented the University of Arkansas in a first-class manner and with the highest level of integrity on and off the floor. We are grateful for Coach Anderson’s many contributions to our program and most of all for his investment in the lives of the many student-athletes he has coached. He has been a positive influence on their lives, encouraged them and supported them on, both their individual and collective, academic and athletic journeys. We wish Mike, his wife Marcheita and the entire Anderson family the very best.”
Anderson was chosen by Arkansas to lead the basketball program in 2011. He was 169-102 in his eight seasons as head coach. He has posted a 17-year head coaching record of 369-200 with stops at UAB (2002-06) and Missouri (2006-11) before returning to Arkansas in 2011.
Anderson was on staff with the Razorbacks for 17 seasons (1985-2002), helping Arkansas win the 1994 NCAA Championship.
The Razorbacks made five postseason tournament berths in Anderson’s eight years, including three in the NCAA (2015, 2017 and 2018) and two in the NIT (2014 and 2019).
Yurachek announced that a national search for the next head men’s basketball coach will begin immediately. Associate head coach Melvin Watkins will serve as a lead on men’s basketball team-related matters until a head coach is named.
“With our great history and tradition, a loyal fan base and a fully supported program within the SEC, I am confident that we will identify a leader that will elevate our men’s basketball program to a nationally competitive level on an annual basis,” Yurachek said. “In an effort to most effectively identify and secure our next head coach, I do not plan on providing further comment related to our search until its completion. I appreciate the understanding and support of all Razorback fans as we move forward in this process.”