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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Anderson leaving MU for Arkansas after all

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L.G. Patterson/AP File Photo

Mike Anderson watches his Missouri team perform during the second half against Central Arkansas in this file photo. Anderson is returning to Arkansas to become the Razorbacks’ basketball coach.

Mike Anderson is returning to Arkansas to become the Razorbacks’ basketball coach.The school confirmed the move Wednesday night.

Anderson leaves Missouri after five seasons to return to the school where he was an assistant to Nolan Richardson for 17 seasons. He replaces John Pelphrey, who was fired on March 13.

“Under Mike’s leadership, I am confident the Razorbacks will be successful in the future on and off the court,” Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said in a statement. “The decision to hire Mike Anderson as head coach is based on my firm belief that he is the right person to lead the Razorback program today and in the years to come.”

Anderson’s departure is certain to anger Missouri fans who just six days earlier were assured by the Tigers’ coach that “I’m excited about what’s taking place at Missouri, and I plan on being at Missouri.” But they had also grown accustomed to previous flirtations — Anderson turned down $2 million offers and both the Georgia job in 2009 and Oregon one year later.

But the hard feelings felt by Missouri fans over Anderson’s departure were nowhere to be found inside Mizzou Arena at a news conference Wednesday night. Less than 2 hours after a team meeting with Anderson, athletic director Mike Alden repeatedly praised the coach for restoring the national success of a program that rose to prominence under longtime coach Norm Stewart but faltered under Anderson’s predecessor, Quin Snyder.

“We’ve been blessed that he has been with us for the past five years,” Alden said at a hastily arranged news conference. “We wish him nothing but the best.”

Anderson did not attend the news conference, but rising Missouri seniors Marcus Denmon, Kim English and Laurence Bowers also spoke fondly of their former coach. Anderson told them that the call home was too strong to resist, they said.

“I don’t feel coach Anderson would have left here for any place other than Arkansas,” Denmon said.

Anderson was 111-57 in five seasons at Missouri, including an appearance in the Elite Eight in 2009. The Tigers were 23-11 this season, losing to Cincinnati in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He was 89-41 in four seasons at Alabama-Birmingham before that.

NFL/MLS

Ochocinco winded in workout

Kansas City, Mo. — Switching from football to soccer won’t be easy for Chad Ochocinco, if it happens at all.

Locked out of his day job, Ochocinco opened a four-day tryout with Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, and by the end of his first day with the Major League Soccer team the star receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals was panting.

“Exactly what I expected,” the six-time Pro Bowler explained. “I would be a little winded being that I haven’t ran at this pace or this level since the end of our season of football. It was fun. I didn’t expect to come in here and be Superman.”

Ochocinco plans to go through with the tryout, and, if possible, join the MLS team. The famously spotlight-hungry player insisted he was motivated by love for a sport that was actually his first choice until his grandmother persuaded him to focus on football after the 10th grade.

“I would play for free,” he said.

Wearing No. 85, of course, Ochocinco worked out with more than 40 media representatives lining the practice field, roughly 10 times the number that normally show up for a midweek workout. He moved fluidly on the cold, blustery day and was taller than almost all the professional soccer players on the field.

His athleticism was obvious and so was his soccer rust after so many years away from the game.

“The time I’ve had off from the game of this football has been a very long time,” he said. “There’s no way I can make up that ground, the years I’ve been away from the game. But I do have a love for it.”

Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes knows many people will view the tryout as a publicity stunt, either by Ochocinco or the team.

“I’ve said this before — I’ve always considered it from the very beginning to be a long shot. But I can tell you this, we bring trialists in all the time,” Vermes said. “To be frank, they’re always long shots. But we also bring guys in with much lesser physical tools than he has and they get trials with us as well. It’s very normal in our sport to do this. It’s just different because it’s a guy who’s coming from the NFL.

“I did not want it to be a media thing for him. He said it wasn’t.”

Courts

Bonds’ friend says he saw syringe

San Francisco — Barry Bonds looked at the witness stand with a blank expression as a childhood friend and former business partner described how baseball’s biggest star walked into the master bedroom at his spring training home along with trainer Greg Anderson, who had a syringe with a needle. A few minutes later, Bonds and Anderson walked out.

Steve Hoskins testified in federal court Wednesday that he never saw Anderson inject Bonds. The question for the jury will be whether Hoskins’ description, which the defense began to challenge later in the day, is a path toward convicting Bonds of lying when he told a grand jury seven years ago he never knowingly took steroids.

UFL

Schottenheimer returns to coaching

Virginia Beach, Va. — Longtime former NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer has been hired as head coach and general manager of the Virginia Destroyers of the UFL.

Schottenheimer was introduced Wednesday as the first coach of the franchise. The Destroyers will begin play this season, the third year of existence for the United Football League.

A veteran of 30 years of NFL experience as a coach and player, Schottenheimer has a career coaching record of 205-139-1 (.596). He coached Cleveland, Kansas City, Washington and San Diego, taking a Chargers team that was 4-12 in 2003 to 12-4 and the division title in 2004.

Schottenheimer is the fourth prominent former NFL coach to take on the same job in the UFL, joining Jim Fassel (Las Vegas), Dennis Green (Sacramento) and Jerry Glanville (Hartford).

College basketball

Texas Tech introduces Gillispie

Lubbock, Texas — The Billy Gillispie era has begun at Texas Tech.

The school introduced its new basketball coach Wednesday, and Gillispie said it feels like he has come home. The 51-year-old Abilene native is 140-85 in seven seasons as a Div. I coach, and he previously led UTEP and Texas A&M; to remarkable turnarounds.

Gillispie flashed the school’s “Guns Up” sign before stepping to the podium and telling a crowd of about 800 at the basketball arena that he can’t guarantee every game will be a win.

“I can guarantee there is not anybody that’s going to come into this place and play harder than us or better together than us,” Gillispie said. “I’ll guarantee that to happen.”

Gillispie replaces Pat Knight, who was fired March 7.

Gillispie returns to coaching after two seasons away. Kentucky fired him in 2009 after the Wildcats went 40-27 in his two seasons and missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 17 years.

Gillispie arrives with some baggage. Five months after he was fired by Kentucky, he was arrested for drunken driving. In November 2009, he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence, accepting a plea bargain.

The arrest was at least the third time Gillispie has been accused of driving under the influence. In 1999, Gillispie was arrested on two charges: driving while intoxicated and improper use of a lane in Tulsa, Okla., where he was an assistant coach under Bill Self, now the Kansas coach.

Comments

KU_alum_2001 8 years, 7 months ago

Ben McLemore... come on down! You're the next contestant on So You Think You Can Appreciate National Championships and Tradition.

With Anderson gone, surely even his mother can't still side with Mizzou.

Craig Lang 8 years, 7 months ago

...unless, of course, MU hires McLemore's AAU or high school coach.

KEITHMILES05 8 years, 7 months ago

Anderson hookwinked dumb Alden all the way to up the ante in Arky. Pretty amazing Alden fell for that crap. NO way in hell did MA deserve an increase this time and to flirt publicty for several days is a disgrace by Anderson. He is now the 7th.highest paid BB coach in the country AND Alden now has a shambles on his hands with the leftovers.

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 8 years, 7 months ago

I agree. All MU hating asside I thought, from the outside looking in, Mike Anderson seemed like a good coach and good person.

Ok, I will now resume all MU hating.

oldrocker 8 years, 7 months ago

I agree with billhawk...Anderson seemed like a nice guy...way to good for Mizzery! Glad to see him go. Now instead of getting beat every year by KU, he will get beat every year by UK.

Carter Patterson 8 years, 7 months ago

I'll miss him also...the 9-1 record we have against him was great.

79ictjhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

+1 His best reason to leave Missery - he won't be loosing to KU every year anymore!

Funhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Good posts. I, too, will miss Mike Anderson. His style of coaching was fun. Use the whole court, run, run, run. Mike Anderson's personality was the best, too. As far as coaches go, he has it all together.

ytf23 8 years, 7 months ago

Well, I hear Bruce Pearl is available...

KU_FanSince75 8 years, 7 months ago

Bruce Pearl would be a perfect fit for Mizzou. It would ratchet up the Border War most significantly, IMHO.

MDHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Agreed...the NCAA sure doesn't enjoy being lied to. Seems like they're bringing down the hammer on the entire Tennessee athletic department...

Martin Rosenblum 8 years, 7 months ago

His presence in Columbia could also be considerd as "time served" for all of his crimes against his country. When he says he'll bring in some "big guns", however, watch out! He really might!

KU_alum_2001 8 years, 7 months ago

I've wished some pretty awful things on bad people before but even that seems a bit unjust. Just behead the man already and spare him the torture. Have you no heart???

jhox 8 years, 7 months ago

I hate to see Anderson go. If MU hires a young up and coming coach like a Brad Stevens, or someone of that stature, it will be an upgrade for MU. Anderson's style of basketball wins a lot of games, but tends to fail against teams with good guards (something KU typically has.)

With the nice arena and facilities that MU has, and a passionate fan base, they've been underachievers under Anderson. Their next coach may not underachieve. If I were an MU fan I'd be happy to see Anderson go. He's not a guy who was ever likely to get them to a Final 4, or lead them to a Big 12 championship.

kesmithstl1 8 years, 7 months ago

If Brad Stevens goes to MU, I will get a tattoo of a Tiger on my ass! Ain't happenin! He is signed at Butler through 2020, and if he does go anywhere, it will be Indiana.

Reading papers, looks more like Ben Jacobson of Northern Iowa, Mark Fox Georgia, Missouri State coach, and VCU's coach.

8 years, 7 months ago

“The Tigers were 23-11 this season, losing to Cincinnati in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.”


I know it’s not your article LJW, however Missouri lost in the first round.

Texas Tech is going to be a worthy adversary for us with Billy at the helm, especially now that we will be playing them at least twice a year in hoops starting next season.

KU_FanSince75 8 years, 7 months ago

txrockchalk---yep, I am afraid I have to agree with you.

Carter Patterson 8 years, 7 months ago

The NCAA is now calling the play in game the first round....so technically by NCAA speak, they did lose in the 2nd round.

8 years, 7 months ago

Gotcha. Thank you for the heads up.

KU_alum_2001 8 years, 7 months ago

Isn't that the worst idea you've ever heard? I was thrown by that a couple of weeks ago and then realized what was going on. I love how everyone can now say they made it to the second round game without even having played one. NCAA fools!

meremy 8 years, 7 months ago

I believe they added a round this year changing the numbering scheme.

John Proctor 8 years, 7 months ago

The media have been instructed to now call the first round the second round, because of those 4 "first round" games. It's pretty stupid, and confusing.

GilbertAZ 8 years, 7 months ago

I'm sorry, but Missouri did lose in the second round. The NCAA considers the four play in games the first round. Just sayin'.

justinryman 8 years, 7 months ago

Na na na na, na na na na hey hey hey goodbye Na na na na, na na na na hey hey hey goodbye

Well I guess Mike Anderson went to coach the Razorbacks cause he wanted to have some Kansas in his game at OurKansas????

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 7 months ago

Mark Anderson isn't that good of a coach...look at his in conference record. He had one run in the tournament. Arkansas is paying for a mediocre coach. Additionally, I think Arkansas will be hard to recruit to. Finally, that style really isn't successful. It's successful if you never play against it. Louisville and Missouri were the two locations that really use that style and they were both first round losses.

I just think most teams that tournament quality can play against that style. So yep some regular season wins against mediocre teams, but against good teams, you lose basically every team.

Dean Huggins 8 years, 7 months ago

With Anderson out, the recruiting door swings wide open for neighboring programs. Lately however, I'm not so sure how interested I am in McLemore. He states his first priority is playing right away, second priority is proximity to home; I can already envision a malcontent. After the talent that Releford flashed this year, I'd surmise the 3 is locked up. I also shutter when a recruit hits the '3 schools in a little over 1 year' status. What I'm really seeking is some size. Daniels is out there, as are a few other 6-7" / 6-8" bodies that we're eyeing, one of which is Otto Porter. Granted, we've got to be mindful of the 2012 class, particularly Perry Ellis. Ellis isn't necessarily a 'bruiser' and I believe his game to resemble more of the Morri (inside, outside, dribble, drive, pass, kryptonite). At this point I don't see Withey as the perfect compliment to T Rob, assuming the Morri leave for the league after this year's championship crowning. I want size in our recruits; Beef--it's whats for dinner. RCJH!

KEITHMILES05 8 years, 7 months ago

McLemore will not play right away and where does this information come from that he says he wants to? So untrue.

Joel Hood 8 years, 7 months ago

OMG - whatever will Melvin "the luckiest coach in the world" Watkins do now? Failed at aTm, failed with Quin at MU, stayed at MU as interim, retained at MU as Asst to Andedrson, and now what slice of miraculous will befall him?

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