University of Missouri students and staff are expressing optimism toward the hiring of Kim Anderson as the new head coach of Mizzou basketball.
The University officially announced Anderson as head coach during a news conference Tuesday morning. Anderson comes most recently from the University of Central Missouri, where he led the Mules to a 2014 Division II National Championship. He is also UCM's all-time winningest coach and has a lengthy history at Mizzou basketball.
"I thank all of you for being here today as we start an exciting, new era of Tiger basketball," Anderson said Tuesday.
"Thanks for bringing me home."
But athletic officials say it's not just Anderson's resume that makes him the right fit for MU.
"Who had the capability to represent the core values of our university...of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence," Athletic Director Mike Alden said.
"While at the same time adhering absolutely to academic integrity of what we do in athletics, the social responsibility aspect of who we are as men and women. And then finally be able to win at a very high level."
MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin was at a meeting in Washington DC Tuesday and was unable to attend the formal announcement. He released a written statement, echoing Alden's thought's.
That statement read, in part:
"Kim is a proven winner. He is a perfect fit for Mizzou. He is a positive reflection of who we are, now and into the future. He is a man of character and integrity."
On the MU campus in Columbia Tuesday, students expressed optimism for the future of the basketball program.
"There's no where to go but up, because this year we didn't even make the NCAA tournament so that's not a good look on Missouri basketball. So hopefully he gets us there next year," MU Senior Corey Smith said.
Even those who don't follow Mizzou basketball closely see the former tiger and Sedalia native's Missouri roots as an asset to the team.
"The last couple of coaches we've had, they never really had a strong attachment to the University," MU Senior Adam York said.
"And I think having that background and that form of history will definitely give them more of an emotional investment in the program."