COLUMBIA – For the fourth time in 15 seasons, Missouri athletics director Mike Alden is looking to hire a men’s basketball coach.
His previous three hires (Quin Snyder, Mike Anderson and Frank Haith) have made 10 NCAA Tournament appearances, but only twice have the Tigers advanced to the Sweet 16. The program has never reached the Final Four.
Missouri has been competitive on the hardwood during Alden’s tenure, and the Tigers have had flashes of greatness (Elite Eight appearances in 2002 and 2009 and the Big 12 Tournament Title in 2012) but have failed to consistently be an above-average program.
Haith bolted for Tulsa last week, giving Alden an unexpected opportunity to give new life to his basketball program.
Alden’s hire will look to take the program to new heights. Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall is the biggest name in the pool of potential candidates, but Missouri has yet to reach out to him, Marshall's agent Myles Solomon told the Missourian on Monday afternoon.
"We haven't had any contact with Missouri at all this year," Solomon said in a phone interview. "We've had no contact, so it's not really a possibility at the moment."
Marshall has compiled a record of 174-71 at Wichita State since taking over as head coach in 2007.
Marshall was named The Associated Press Coach of the Year in 2014 after he guided Wichita State to a 35-0 start last season. The Shockers suffered their first loss of the season against Kentucky in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
In 2013, Marshall took the Shockers to their first Final Four in school history. He is under contract for seven years and currently makes $1.75 million annually. A significant raise will likely be necessary to pry Marshall out of his comfortable situation in the Sunflower State.
"As of right now, it's been really quiet," Solomon said. "We'll see which direction this goes."
Three seasons ago, Alden pursued Purdue coach Matt Painter but was eventually shunned by Painter, who parlayed Alden’s interest into a contract extension with a salary increase at Purdue. In the three years since, the Boilermakers have compiled a record of 53-48 and have missed the NCAA Tournament each of the last two seasons.
Purdue has not been contacted by Missouri regarding Painter, a Purdue official confirmed to the Missourian on Monday.
ESPN’s Andy Katz reported Monday that Central Missouri coach and Missouri alumnus Kim Anderson is a strong candidate for the Missouri vacancy.
According to Katz’s source, a decision on the next Missouri coach will be made within a week.
Anderson, 58, coached Central Missouri to the Division II national championship last month. He has led the Mules to three Division II Final Fours with a 30-5 record this past season. The national title was the first for the Mules since 1984.
Anderson has a long history with Missouri, his alma mater. He played for Norm Stewart from 1973-77. He worked for Stewart from 1982-85 as an assistant and then returned to be an assistant again from 1991-99. Anderson isn't willing to talk about the current opening, though.
"I am the coach of the Mules," he wrote to the Missourian through a spokesman Monday. "At this time, I will have no comment on any other jobs."
Meanwhile, Tim Fuller steers the Tigers' program as the interim coach. He could also be a candidate for the full-time gig, after Haith took assistant coach Dave Leitao and strength and conditioning coach Todor Pandov with him to Tulsa last week.
Fuller, a savvy recruiter, is also among the candidates to fill Florida A&M’s head coaching vacancy, CBS’s Jeff Borzello reported on Monday.
Supervising editor is Mark Selig.