|Alma Mater:||Northern Colorado|
Anderson at a Glance
Alma Mater: Northern Colorado, 1990
NU Awards Under Mike Anderson
National Player of the Year Finalists (5):
First-Team All-Americans (9):
Big Eight/Big 12 Players of the Year (5):
First-Team All-Conference Honorees (23):
Freshmen All-Americans (4):
CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year (2):
First-Team CoSIDA Academic All-Americans (6):
That is a belief that student-athletes are his top priority, and it has been something that Anderson has been mindful of since becoming Nebraska's 23rd baseball coach on June 21, 2002. When Anderson, who had served as an assistant in the Husker program for eight seasons, stepped to the microphone for the first time as head coach, he made it clear that his student-athletes were his top priority.
"This is about kids," Anderson said. "This is about the commitment to young men getting their education at the University of Nebraska, getting their education on the baseball field, and obviously winning baseball games."
Anderson has lived up to that ideal, guiding the Husker program to a 307-171-2 record, two Big 12 titles (2003 and 2005) and the school's third College World Series appearance since 2001 (2005). The Huskers have reached NCAA Regional play in five of the past eight seasons, including three regional title games (2003, 2005, 2007) and have won 40-or-more games four times in that stretch, including a school-record 57 games in 2005. Anderson is among the top-25 active Division I coaches with a career .642 winning percentage.
Although the Huskers have missed the NCAA Tournament the past two years, Anderson's recent teams have shown signs of progress and development heading into 2011. Last year, Nebraska had a pair of sophomore honorable-mention All-Big 12 selections in infielder Cody Asche and outfielder Kale Kiser. Both players batted above .300, in addition to freshman Josh Scheffert. On the mound, the Huskers lost only one regular starter and a young and talented staff that looks to be molding into a solid unit. Nebraska finished the 2010 season on a four-game winning streak, defeating Creighton, 21-5, in the Huskers' last appearance at Rosenblatt Stadium before a season-ending sweep of Texas Tech at Hawks Field, in which NU averaged 8.3 runs per game.
Anderson graduated a pair of talented All-Big 12 picks with the departures of Adam Bailey and D.J. Belfonte. Bailey was the league's leading home run hitter with 18 round trippers, while Belfonte earned first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America honors, the sixth in program history. Belfonte also led a group of seven players to be named to the 2010 academic All-Big 12 team, giving NU 89 in conference history, including 57 under Anderson.
In 2008, the Huskers turned what many thought was a rebuilding year into another successful campaign. Behind first-team All-Big 12 performers Johnny Dorn, Jake Opitz and Mitch Abeita, Nebraska went 41-16-1 and was ranked as high as fifth in the country before receiving a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in six years. The Huskers showed resiliency, recording 21 come-from-behind wins during the year and were in contention for a Big 12 title until the final weekend of the regular season. The 2007 Huskers overcame a slow start to play their best baseball down the stretch, reaching the title game of the NCAA Tempe Regional. Nebraska won five of its final six conference series, including series wins over Super Regional qualifier Oklahoma State and nationally ranked Oklahoma.
The 2006 season saw its share of success, as Nebraska compiled a 42-17 record, reached the Big 12 Championship game and was the No. 6 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. Three Husker players - Luke Gorsett, Tony Watson and Ryan Wehrle - garnered All-America honors, while Brandon Buckman garnered first-team ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America honors.
Anderson piloted the Huskers to their most successful season in school history in 2005. NU compiled a 57-15 record and advanced to the College World Series for the third time in a five-year span. The Huskers won their first-ever CWS game, while the 57 wins led the nation and shattered the school mark of 51 set in 2001. Anderson was selected as the Big 12 Coach of the Year for a second time after guiding NU to both the regular-season and tournament titles. The Huskers had three All-Americans, led by consensus national player of the year Alex Gordon, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2005 MLB Draft, along with Joba Chamberlain and Johnny Dorn. Gordon led a contingent of 11 players who brought home All-Big 12 accolades in 2005, including four first-team selections.
In 2004, the Huskers narrowly missed making the NCAA Tournament, ending the year with a 36-23 record, but still enjoyed numerous highlights. The Huskers posted four wins over top-10 teams, including a pair of victories over No. 1 Texas. Gordon was a first-team All-American and was chosen as the Big 12's Player of the Year while becoming the first Husker since 1985 to be selected for the U.S. National Team.
Anderson made an immediate impression, guiding Nebraska to a 47-18 record in 2003. The Huskers won the Big 12 regular-season title with a 20-7 mark while Anderson became the second first-year Husker coach to lead NU to a conference title and the first since 1929. For his efforts, he was tabbed by his peers as the Big 12 Coach of the Year. Anderson was joined by first baseman Matt Hopper and pitcher Aaron Marsden in sweeping the Big 12's major awards, as they were chosen as Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively. The duo was joined by designated hitter Curtis Ledbetter and pitcher Quinton Robertson as first-team All-Big 12 selections. The Huskers also enjoyed success in the classroom, as Jeff Leise and Aaron Marsden were named CoSIDA First-Team Academic All-Americans, while Leise repeated as the Academic All-American of the Year.
Commitment to student-athletes and commitment to teaching - these have been the hallmarks throughout Anderson's coaching tenure at NU since he joined the Husker baseball coaching staff in the fall of 1994.
Since joining the Nebraska staff, Anderson has coached a total of 22 first-team all-conference honorees, while 52 of his players have signed pro contracts. Anderson has seen 12 of his players reach the Major Leagues, including Gordon (Kansas City) and Chamberlain (New York Yankees) in 2007, Brian Duensing (Minnesota) in 2009 and Zach Kroenke (Arizona) in 2010. Anderson's most famous pupil former MLB star and current volunteer assistant coach Darin Erstad, who earned first-team All-America honors in 1995, when he was the first overall selection in the 1995 MLB Draft. Erstad, a three-time Gold Glove winner, also appeared in the 2000 and 2002 All-Star Games.
Anderson also helped Ken Harvey develop into the nation's best hitter in 1999. Harvey led Division I with a .478 average, while belting 23 homers en route to first-team All-America honors. Harvey represented the Kansas City Royals in the 2004 All-Star Game. Other former Huskers coached by Anderson who have reached the Major Leagues include Todd Sears, Jamal Strong, Dan Johnson, Adam Shabala, Adam Stern and Drew Anderson.
Eight Huskers have been tabbed first-team All-Americans under Anderson's tutelage, while five players - Erstad (1995), Harvey (1999), Dan Johnson (2001), Jed Morris (2002) and Gordon (2004-05) - have been finalists for various national player-of-the-year awards. Gordon became Nebraska's first major award winner in 2005, taking home the Dick Howser Trophy, the USA Baseball Golden Spikes and the Brooks Wallace Awards, while also being recognized as Baseball America's College Player of the Year.
Five Huskers were selected in the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft, making the 10th consecutive year that at least three NU players were chosen. Included in the group was pitcher Sean Yost, who elected to return to Nebraska for the 2010 season.
Before he was named head coach following the 2002 season, Anderson enjoyed a successful tenure as the Huskers' hitting coach, as NU led the Big 12 in hitting in each of his final four seasons.
In 2002, the Huskers led the Big 12 in seven offensive categories, including batting average, hits and runs scored. Individually, Morris and Leise were both first-team All-Americans, as Morris led the Big 12 in both homers (23) and RBIs (90), while Leise ranked among the conference leaders in nine offensive categories. In 2001, Anderson coached a Husker offense that ranked in the top 10 nationally in both team batting average and runs per game. NU led the Big 12 in 11 offensive categories, including batting average, runs scored, homers and stolen bases, while Anderson coached a trio of first-team All-Americans in outfielder John Cole, designated hitter Matt Hopper and first baseman Dan Johnson, a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy that year.
As the outfielders coach, Anderson coached three All-Americans and seven all-conference selections, including Leise, who was a first-team All-American in 2002, while leading the Huskers to their second straight CWS appearance.
Anderson's commitment to his student-athletes also extends to the classroom. Over the past 16 years, the Huskers have placed 74 players on the first-team all-conference squad. Nebraska has had 10 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans and 21 first-team academic all-district selections.
Before arriving in Lincoln in the fall of 1994, Anderson was the top assistant coach at the University of Northern Colorado. He joined the Bears' staff after four years as a head coach with the Northern Colorado Lab School. Along with his collegiate coaching experience, Anderson has worked as a camp instructor for Greg Riddoch's Major League Baseball School and Tom Runnells' Pro Clinics. Both Riddoch and Runnells managed in the Major Leagues. Anderson also spent two years as a scout for the Toronto Blue Jays.
From 1983 through 1986, Anderson was an outfielder at Northern Colorado for College Hall of Fame Coach Tom Petroff. Anderson was an eighth-round pick by the California Angels before spending four seasons in professional baseball. Anderson earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from Northern Colorado in 1990. Anderson graduated from Eaton High School in Eaton, Colo., where he was a first-team All-Colorado shortstop for Coach Jim Danley.
He and his wife Kim have four children: Kaleigh, Taylor, Madison and Andie.