Mike Anderson
AP Photo, Michael Dwyer

After all of the craziness in the St. John’s head coaching search, a worthwhile choice was executed in Mike Anderson.

Ricky Keeler

Between all of the chaos, confusion, and drama of the St. John’s Red Storm head coaching search, they finally got someone to take the job on Thursday.

Roger Rubin of Newsday was the first to report that the Red Storm hired former Arkansas coach Mike Anderson to be the man in charge in Queens:

Anderson brings much-needed coaching experience to the position that was needed since Steve Lavin was the head coach. Over the course of 17 years, Anderson is 369-200 and has made it to nine NCAA Tournaments in his career with UAB, Missouri and Arkansas. While the Razorbacks didn’t make the Big Dance this past season, they did make it three of the four prior years.

When you look at an Anderson-coached team, one thing you might notice is a lot of ball movement, which will be a nice change of pace from the isolation ball fans saw last year. Since Anderson took over at Arkansas, the Razorbacks were in the top four in the SEC in assists per game.

Yes, Anderson is not well-known in the New York City area and that could take some time from a recruiting perspective. However, with the appeal Anderson might have at a national level, he can help bring in players across the country and hire assistants that can help fill the gap in the tri-state area. Those hires will be critical to have the success that is needed.


Right now, Anderson’s first goal has to be to try to get players like LJ Figueroa and Mustapha Heron to stay for one more season. If they don’t, then it will be up to him to try to get the most out of a roster that will be young and experienced in a competitive Big East. With that being said, he might be the man for that when you consider he has never had a losing season as a head coach.

You could make the argument that St. John’s stumbled upon this hire after the craziness of this past week with Mike Repole going on with Mike Francesa and ripping the university to shreds or the fact that the Red Storm could not land Bobby Hurley or Tim Cluess after Chris Mullin stepped down. However, give new athletic director Mike Cragg credit for finding a coach that can help guide this team through tough times.

Let’s face it. Next season is going to be a rebuilding year for St. John’s, regardless of who the head coach ended up being. Anderson at least has the ability to teach defense and that can keep a team competitive in any game.

For St. John’s, the goal of this process should have been to find a coach that can create a consistent winner. The process of getting to this point should be heavily criticized and not forgotten by any means.  However, the Red Storm found a man in Anderson who can turn things around. It’s just all about patience.

In a process where the perfect candidate just wasn’t there, the experience Anderson brings to the table and his ability make him a wise choice for the administration.

I graduated from St. John's University with a degree in sports management. I previously wrote about the Johnnies at Rumble In the Garden.