June 21, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. - Jim Anderson has been selected to take over the men's golf head coaching duties at the University of Arizona, athletics director Greg Byrne announced today.
Anderson has five seasons of NCAA Division I coaching experience, including the last three years as an assistant coach (2009-12) at Texas A&M. While in College Station, he helped the Aggies win better than 81 percent of its matches, claim seven team tournament titles, and advance to the NCAA Championships three times.
"It is an honor to have the opportunity to coach at the University of Arizona and represent this state and the athletic department," Anderson said. "I have a great deal of respect for Greg Byrne and am excited to join a family of Wildcats who compete often for conference and national championships."
A tireless recruiter who is intimately involved in the organization, preparation and implementation of team practices, training and competitions, Anderson was the winner of the 2012 Jan Strickland Award as the assistant coach of the year by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
During the 2011-12 campaign, the Aggies were ranked as high as 11th nationally by Golfweek magazine, won two tournaments, including the Big XII Conference championship, and collected 12 top-five finishes in 14 team events. Texas A&M finished second at the NCAA Regional in Bowling Green, Ky., and was14th at the NCAA Championships. Individually, three TAMU players claimed individual medalist honors, two earned all-conference kudos and one was an All-American.
In his three seasons at Texas A&M, Anderson coached eight individual medalists, seven all-conference performers and seven All-Americans alongside Aggie head coach J.T. Higgins. Additionally, eight of his charges received Big XII Conference all-academic honors.
All three of his Aggie squads posted runner-up finishes at the NCAA Regionals and finished as high as ninth (2011) at the NCAA Championships.
"We are thrilled to name Jim Anderson as our men's golf coach," said Byrne. "He has a tremendous background in recruiting, coaching and helping manage all of the aspects of one of the top men's golf programs in the country. We look forward to him leading our student-athletes to success on the course and in the classroom for many years to come."
Prior to his tenure at Texas A&M, Anderson spent two years as an assistant coach (2007-09) at the University of New Mexico, and in that span the program displayed great improvement. In those two seasons, UNM's national ranking rose from 111 to 37, the squad's winning percentage jumped 30 points and the team boosted its finish at the Mountain West Conference championship from sixth to fourth. With Anderson's assistance, the Lobos earned a berth in the 2009 NCAA Regional, while Steve Saunders garnered All-America and MWC Player-of-the-Year honors that same season.
A native of Sioux Falls, S.D., Anderson was a four-year letterman at New Mexico from 1999-2004, posting a 74.50 scoring average in 38 career rounds played. In that span, he earned both most improved and outstanding student-athlete kudos. He was also a member of UNM's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
He graduated from New Mexico in 2003 with a B.S. in business administration/human resource management and earned a master's degree in sport administration from the same institution in 2004. Anderson and his wife, Nita, have a daughter, Jolee (6 mos.).
Anderson, 31, is the sixth head coach in Arizona history, dating back to the program's inception in 1934-35. He succeeds Rick LaRose, who retired at the end of the 2011-12 campaign after 34 seasons as the head coach.
"I'm very excited to join a program with the rich history of success that Arizona enjoys," said Anderson. "So much of that is due to Coach LaRose and his players, and I look forward to carrying on that winning tradition."
Anderson's contract is pending approval by the Arizona Board of Regents.