Sources: Mizzou to meet with Anderson

Updated: March 31, 2009, 1:18 PM ET
By Mark Schlabach | ESPN.com

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia officials have targeted Missouri's Mike Anderson as their next basketball coach.

[+] EnlargeMike Anderson
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesMike Anderson, sought after by Georgia and apparently in line for a big raise at Missouri, is in a win-win situation.

Anderson, who led the Tigers to a school-record 31 victories and the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament this season, spoke to Georgia athletic director Damon Evans on Monday, according to multiple sources, and is back home pondering his future.

Georgia officials have offered the 49-year-old Anderson a multiyear contract that would pay him more than $2 million per season, according to sources, though his agent denies this is the case.

"Georgia hasn't offered him the job," Jimmy Sexton told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I wish they had. They haven't said the job is his."

The Bulldogs are seeking a successor to former head coach Dennis Felton, who was fired Jan. 29 after going 84-91 in six seasons at Georgia.

Anderson, who had a 65-35 record in three seasons at Missouri, has an $850,000 salary this year. Missouri athletic director Mike Alden is scheduled to meet with the coach in Columbia, Mo., on Tuesday and is prepared to offer a five-year contract extension that would pay Anderson about $1.3 million per season, according to sources.

Anderson also is believed to be a potential candidate for the Memphis job if John Calipari leaves to become Kentucky's new coach.

"All of these opportunities have their pluses and minuses," Sexton told the Journal-Constitution. "He's got it turned around at Missouri. He's got great players there now. Memphis is a great situation and Mike has connections there. Georgia appears to want to make a commitment to basketball and Damon probably has the most to offer. But Georgia hasn't won consistently over the years and you wonder what the reason is for that.

"He's in a sorting out process right now."

Anderson is one of the hottest commodities in the college coaching ranks after leading Missouri to its best season in school history. He led the Tigers to a Big 12 tournament championship and they came within one victory of reaching the Final Four. The No. 3-seeded Tigers lost to No. 1 seed Connecticut 82-75 in the West Regional final in Glendale, Ariz., on Saturday. Missouri finished the season 31-7.

Anderson inherited a Missouri program in 2006 that had been rocked by scandal and poor results under former coach Quin Snyder. Using the fast-paced style he modeled after former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson's "40 minutes of hell," Anderson has a 65-35 record in three seasons at Missouri.

Anderson has strong ties to the SEC after spending 17 seasons as an assistant coach on Richardson's staff at Arkansas from 1985 to 2002. During Anderson's time at Arkansas, the Razorbacks won three Southwest Conference championships and two SEC titles. The Razorbacks also made three appearances in the Final Four, won the national championship in 1994 and were national runners-up in 1995.

Anderson, a native of Birmingham, Ala., was named Arkansas' interim coach when Richardson was fired during the 2001-02 season.

Anderson was named head coach at UAB in 2002 and led the Blazers to three NCAA appearances in four seasons. In the 2004 NCAA tournament, the No. 9-seeded Blazers upset No. 1 seed Kentucky 76-75 in the second round before losing to Kansas 100-74 in the Sweet 16.

The Blazers finished the 2003-04 season ranked No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll, the first time they ended a season ranked nationally. Anderson was named Conference USA Coach of the Year.

Anderson would take over a Georgia program that has played in the NCAA tournament only once since former coach Jim Harrick was fired in the wake of an academic scandal in 2003. Felton led the Bulldogs to an improbable SEC tournament title in 2008, and they lost to Xavier 73-61 in the first round of the NCAAs.

Information from ESPN college basketball reporter Andy Katz was used in this report.

Mark Schlabach | email

College Football and Basketball

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