After eight seasons at Arkansas, Mike Anderson’s homecoming has come to an end. According to Jeff Goodman, he is out after an 18-16 season.
BREAKING: Mike Anderson is out at Arkansas, sources told @stadium.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 26, 2019
Not long after that the University officially announced the decision.
Anderson was 169-102 as the coach of the Hogs and was 78-64 in SEC play. He reached three NCAA Tournaments during his time but was 2-3 in the big dance. Not reaching a Sweet 16 in his time was a source of frustration among fans. At the time of his hiring it was a celebration of a homecoming, that Nolan Richardson’s top assistant was back, and it did a lot to mend the issues of the past in bringing Nolan back to the program.
Despite that, Anderson pulled a program that had been in the dumps, and was 46-47 in the previous three seasons. He brought some much needed stability to the program and was among the most consistent in SEC play during his time. In each of his eight seasons at Arkansas, he either matched or finished higher than the Preseason Poll at SEC Media Days.
While there has been a lot of pressure from various places on the internet, and while there were mixed reviews on his coaching among fans, the current and former players are understandably upset.
Got what y’all wanted— Montana (@adriobailey) March 26, 2019
y'all got what y'all wanted. a bunch of college athletes crying because we just lost our coach. i hope y'all fans are happy— Khalil Garland. (@khalilgarland3_) March 26, 2019
I for one do not agree Jeff.— Bobby BP Portis (@BPortistime) March 26, 2019
Regardless whether you agree with the move or not, the next step is now finding the next Head Coach. And this move shows that winning 62% of your games and finishing in the top half of the conference more often than not isn’t enough if there isn’t a run to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Whether that is reasonable or not is a point of debate for Hog fans, but it’s the bar that has been set with this move.
Jeff Goodman followed up the news that Anderson is out with this.
Houston’s Kelvin Sampson is expected to be in the mix for the Arkansas job, sources told @stadium.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 26, 2019
We’ll have more on potential replacements for the job. But for now Sampson seems like the favorite. With the Texas A&M and Alabama jobs also open, Arkansas will want to move fast in staying up with the coaching arms race that’s happening in the SEC Right now.