In an unsurprising turn of events, Mizzou will have a new basketball coach for the 2017-18 season.
Rather than the usual terminology–“terminated” or “relieved of duties”–the Tigers announced that athletic director Jim Sterk has asked Anderson “to step down from his position at the end of the 2016-17 season.” Beyond the fact that Sterk apparently has quite a bit of respect for Anderson, the cushy terminology is likely being used as a way to avoid burning bridges with the 61-year-old Anderson, who is a Mizzou alum and served as an assistant to legendary coach Norm Stewart for a total of 10 seasons.
Anderson will stick around to coach the Tigers during this week’s SEC tournament. They’ll face Auburn, a team that defeated them 89-78 on Saturday, in their first-round game on Wednesday evening.
Anderson went 26-67 in three seasons at Mizzou. There was a rather prevailing belief among the fan base last spring that Anderson should be fired, but then-AD Mack Rhodes surprisingly chose to keep him around. Anderson’s fate seemed to be sealed once Rhodes departed for Baylor in July and Sterk was hired in August, but with just a couple months to prepare for the season, there was basically no choice but to keep Anderson aboard for the 2016-17 campaign.
Now Sterk will have a few weeks to find a suitable replacement for Anderson. With Mizzou in a budget crisis and the basketball program dealing with an unprecedented tailspin, Sterk will have plenty of obstacles to climb through as he attempts to make an upgrade.