AP NEWS

Arkansas fires Mike Anderson after eight-year tenure

March 26, 2019
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Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson calls a play during the first half against Indiana in the second round of the NIT college basketball tournament, Saturday, March 23, 2019, in Bloomington, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
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Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson calls a play during the first half against Indiana in the second round of the NIT college basketball tournament, Saturday, March 23, 2019, in Bloomington, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas has fired men’s basketball coach Mike Anderson after an eight-year run during which he made three NCAA Tournament appearances.

The school made the announcement in a news release Tuesday.

Anderson went 169-102 with the Razorbacks. The Razorbacks made five postseason tournaments on his watch — three trips to the NCAAs and two in the NIT. Arkansas went 18-16 this past season and reached the second round of the NIT.

Athletic director Hunter Yurachek decided that wasn’t good enough.

“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,” Yurachek said in a statement. “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,” Yurachek said. “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.”

Anderson has a career record of 369-200 record. Arkansas hired him in 2011 after he went 111-57 in five seasons at Missouri, including NCAA appearances in each of his last three years. He went 89-41 at UAB from 2002-05 and has never posted a losing season in 17 years as a head coach.

Before beginning his head coaching career, Anderson was an assistant at Arkansas from 1985-2002. He was part of Nolan Richardson’s staff when Arkansas won the national title in 1994 and was NCAA Tournament runner-up in 1995.

After last Saturday’s NIT loss to Indiana, Anderson was optimistic about the program’s future.

“I think we have a team that’s going to get better,” Anderson said. “The offseason, they’re going to have a tremendous offseason. I think they aspire to be better than they were this year. There are some games there we let slip because of our inability to make plays or make the right decision.”

Associate head coach Melvin Watkins will lead the team until a head coach is named.

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