K KIM AN DERSON HAS BEEN DREAMING OF THIS HO MECOMI NG FOR 30 YEAR S. Although the path of the University of Missouri’s new head basketball coach, wasn’t exactly a straight shot to his dream job, Anderson finally has his chance. And it couldn’t feel more right for the former Tiger. Drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers after finishing his Mizzou career in 1977 under coach Norm Stewart, the Sedalia native played half a season in the NBA, as well as two years professionally in Italy and a year in France. When he returned to the States, he worked as an assistant coach at Missouri and Baylor, made the move to an assistant commissioner role for the Big 12 Conference, and then transitioned back to coaching by heading up the University of Central Missouri basketball program in Warrensburg. Fresh off a Division II men’s basketball championship win with UCM, Anderson is taking his expertise to Division I for the program he’s always wanted to lead. He knows this season will be a challenge, but he’s not shying away. For Anderson, “challenge” is a word ripe with opportunity and promise. 76
INSIDE COLUMBIA NOVEMBER 2014
What has your experience been coming back to Columbia?
The reception has been staggering. Just the response that my wife, Melissa, and I have gotten is amazing. Being a Mizzou grad, this is my dream job. I grew up in Missouri, and this is the ultimate coaching job for me. It’s not Kentucky, Duke or Kansas — it’s here.
When did that dream start for you?
After I finished playing professionally, I came back to Columbia in 1982, and I was a graduate assistant on Coach Stewart’s staff. The more I got into coaching, the more I knew this was what I wanted to do. I even applied for high school jobs. Ironically, I didn’t get them, which is good. I actually ran into a guy who interviewed me for a high school job back in ’83.