By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
After a long search with multiple coaches turning down the opportunity, the St. John’s Red Storm men’s basketball team has a new leader. The school has announced the hiring of Mike Anderson.
Anderson replaces Chris Mullin, who resigned following the season. Mullin — who is the school’s greatest basketball player — was the team’s leader the past four seasons.
The 59-year-old Birmingham, Alabama native was most recently the head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks. He was their head coach the past eight seasons, before parting ways with the school following the 2018-19 season.
“My family and I are extremely excited to join the St. John’s University community,” said Anderson. “This basketball program is rooted with such great tradition and it has a history built by legendary coaches, so this is a humbling experience. I look forward to mentoring the young men who will represent St. John’s proudly on the court, in the classroom and in our community.
“I would like to thank President [Conrado] Gempesaw, Mike Cragg and Joe Oliva for affording me this tremendous opportunity.”
As the Razorbacks head coach, he guided the team to a 169-102 record in eight years. He also went 78-64 in the Southeastern Conference.
During his tenure, Arkansas went to three NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament appearances. The team also went to two NIT appearances, losing both times in the Second Round.
Anderson guided the team to two Round of 32 appearances. In 2017-18, the team lost in the Round of 64.
This past season, the Razorbacks went 18-16. They also had an 8-10 conference record.
The team was eliminated in the second round of the NIT.
Anderson also spent five seasons as the Missouri Tigers head coach. He guided the team to a 111-57 record in the regular season.
The team had a 43-37 mark in the Big 12 Conference.
He guided the team to three NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament appearances in his final three campaigns.
He also spent four seasons as the UAB Blazers head coach. He went 89-41 in the regular season.
Anderson had a 42-20 record in the Conference USA.
In 2003-04, he guided the team to the Sweet 16.
“Coach Anderson is one of the most respected coaches in college basketball and there is no doubt in my mind that he is the perfect fit to lead our program,” said Director of Athletics Mike Cragg. “He has built programs and has sustained success throughout his career. We are confident that his extensive coaching experience, recruiting acumen and skill development program will elevate St. John’s basketball to new heights. Coach Anderson has a relentless work ethic and he is focused on establishing a championship level program here in New York City.”