The University of Arkansas has fired Razorbacks basketball coach Mike Anderson.
The Alabama native has a 25-year history with Arkansas’ basketball program. He has served as the basketball head coach since 2011 and also spent 17 years at Arkansas under head coach Nolan Richardson from 1985 to 2002.
During the past season, Anderson’s team posted an 18-16 win-loss record. The Razorbacks lost eight of the last 12 games they played, according to Whole Hogs Sports. The team was ninth in the SEC during the season. The Hogs’ season came to an end after Saturday’s NIT loss to Indiana.
During his eight years as head coach, Anderson racked up a record of 169-102. During his entire career, Anderson’s win-loss record is 369-200, which includes his coaching tenures at the University of Alabama at Birmingham from 2002 to 2006 and at the University of Missouri from 2006 to 2011.
In a university press release, Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek said he had decided to seek a “change in leadership” to make the program competitive for the future.
“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 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.”
A national search for the next men’s head basketball coach will begin immediately, according to Yuracheck. In the interim period, associate head coach Melvin Watkins will assume head coach responsibilities.
Anderson’s dismissal is likely part of a larger effort on the part of the Arkansas athletic department to revamp the program. In the March issue of Arkansas Money & Politics, Yurachek discussed a feasibility study the athletic department is conducting with the aim of assessing the possibility of adding luxury accommodations to Bud Walton Arena. In the feature, Yurachek says, “This facility has really served us well, but it’s more than 25 years old now, and there’s a need for a refresh.”
Image courtesy of the University of Arkansas Athletics Department.