Arkansas officials are expected to meet with Missouri coach Mike Anderson later Wednesday and, according to sources, a contract offer and Anderson’s acceptance of it appear to be a formality.
Missouri athletic director Mike Alden was unavailable for comment early Wednesday but a Missouri official said there was no announcement planned from Columbia, Mo.
Mike Anderson’s return to the Missouri sideline seems unlikely Wednesday, according to sources who expect him to take the vacant Arkansas job instead.
Earlier Wednesday, a source at Missouri said the school had expected Anderson to stay.
Anderson had wrestled with his decision the past few days, especially with the majority of the Tigers returning. Anderson had been negotiating a two-year extension that would raise his salary at Missouri to $2 million per season — a $500,000 raise.
Anderson was Nolan Richardson’s assistant and replaced him as interim coach at Arkansas to finish the 2001-02 season after Richardson was fired. Richardson filed a discrimination suit against the school in 2004 but the suit was dismissed, as was his appeal in 2006.
Richardson’s fallout at Arkansas was with former athletic director Frank Broyles. New AD Jeff Long has reached out to Richardson and also honored the 1994 national title team.
Anderson played for Richardson at Tulsa and was an assistant at Arkansas when the Razorbacks won the title. Anderson and Richardson were in Tulsa Wednesday for the funeral of longtime Tulsa and Arkansas fan Jim Pharr.
“Mike told me it was 50-50 since he was still negotiating,” Richardson said Wednesday morning by phone. “I’m happy for him. I support Mike and I will support him wherever he goes. He’s like a son to me.”
Stan Heath, who was at Kent State at the time, replaced Richardson, and then was fired before South Alabama’s John Pelphrey replaced him for the 2007-08 season.
Long fired Pelphrey earlier this month despite a top-10 recruiting class.
“It’s a new administration there, it’s not the same people who were there when I was there or Mike,” Richardson said.
Anderson has led Missouri to three NCAA appearances, including an Elite Eight berth in 2009. He also led UAB to three NCAA appearances when he was the coach there.