After leading the Red Storm to its best finish in BIG EAST play in more than half a decade, Head Coach Mike Anderson has received a contract extension from St. John’s University that will keep the 2021 BIG EAST Coach of the Year in New York through at least the 2026-27 season.
“We are excited to have Coach Anderson leading St. John’s Basketball into the next chapter of its rich and storied tradition,” said Father Brian Shanley, President of St. John’s University. “In my time at St. John’s, Coach Anderson and the men’s basketball program have represented our University in a first class manner on the court, in the classroom and in the community. We are pleased with his leadership as well as the positive impact he has made within the St. John’s and local community. I look forward to celebrating all of the future success of our student-athletes with Coach Anderson at the helm.”
Named the 21st head coach in program history in April of 2019, Anderson has delivered back-to-back winning seasons in his first two years guiding the NCAA’s ninth winningest program all-time. Anderson, who won his 400th career game this past season in his 19th year patrolling the sidelines, is one of only three active Division I coaches with at least 15 years of experience to have never endured a sub .500 campaign.
“It is a tremendous honor and privilege to serve as head coach at St. John’s University,” said Anderson. “I thank Father Shanley and the Board of Trustees, Joe Oliva, Mike Cragg and the entire administration for their unwavering commitment to our program. Their faith in our vision for St. John’s Basketball is humbling and I greatly look forward to carrying on our program’s tradition of success for many years to come. None of this would be possible without the dedication of our players, coaches and staff who have represented this fine University well.”
This past season, Anderson guided the Red Storm to a 16-11 record, including a 10-9 mark in BIG EAST play. St. John’s, picked ninth in the preseason coaches poll, finished with a league record of .500 or better for the first time since 2014-15 and secured a top-four seed in the BIG EAST Tournament for the first time since 2000. St. John’s requested to be removed from consideration for a probable bid to the 2021 National Invitation Tournament due to COVID-19 precautions.
Anderson, the first St. John’s head man in nearly three decades to receive BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors, also mentored a pair of local talents who were among the top performers in the league in 2020-21. Julian Champagnie was named to the All-BIG EAST First Team, becoming just the fifth sophomore and 17th player overall in program history to find a spot on the top all-league team. In addition, Champagnie was named the BIG EAST’s Most Improved Player. Posh Alexander claimed the BIG EAST’s Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards, becoming just the third freshman in league history to earn both accolades.
“We are beyond thrilled with Coach Anderson’s leadership and the trajectory on which he has put our program,” said Director of Athletics Mike Cragg, who also recently signed a long-term extension to stay at St. John’s. “I think I speak for everyone in the St. John’s community when I say that we look forward to having both Coach and Marcheita as leading members of our Red Storm family for years to come.”
In his first season in Queens, Anderson guided a youthful squad to 17 wins and had the Red Storm in position for a postseason berth. St. John’s played some of its best basketball in March, winning three of its last four games and advancing in the BIG EAST Tournament before the season prematurely came to an end due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the classroom, St. John’s earned its first ever BIG EAST Team Academic Excellence Award for posting the highest cumulative grade point average among the conference’s men’s basketball teams. A program-record nine men’s basketball players were also named to the 2019-20 BIG EAST All-Academic Team.
Entering his 20th year as a head coach, Anderson owns a 402-226 career record, including a 33-26 mark during his time at St. John’s. In his 19 seasons at the helm, he has led his teams to 12 postseason appearances, including nine trips to the Big Dance. Anderson’s squads have advanced on six of those occasions, including a pair of Sweet 16 berths and a run to the Elite Eight.