Advancing to the NCAA Tournament three times in eight seasons was not enough for Mike Anderson to keep his job as the Arkansas coach as he was fired today.
Anderson spent the past eight seasons leading the Razorbacks but saw the program take a step back in 2018-19 as they finished 18-16 missed the NCAA Tournament despite have a likely NBA first round pick on the roster in Daniel Gafford. The Razorbacks will have to pay Anderson $1 million for each of the final three seasons that were left on his contract as part of his buyout. Last January, Arkansas gave Anderson a two-year extension that pushed his contract through the end of the 2021-22 season.
The Razorbacks reached the big dance in 2015, 2017 and 2018 under Anderson but failed to reach the second weekend. Arkansas has not been to the Sweet 16 (third round) of the NCAA Tournament since 1996. Not surprisingly, Arkansas had their best three years under Anderson in the seasons in which they reached the tournament. In those three campaigns, the Razorbacks went 76-31 and twice reached the second round of March Madness. The other five seasons saw the Razorbacks 92-70.
Arkansas had a record of 169-102 under Anderson while he put together a 78-64 record in the SEC. Anderson never had a losing record at Arkansas (or in his 17-year head coaching career) but that wasn’t enough to keep his job.