In the fall of 1981, John Anderson took over the job of leading the tradition-rich University of Minnesota baseball program, thereby retracing the footsteps of his mentor, legendary Hall of Fame coach Dick Siebert. Thirty-four years later, Anderson continues to uphold the lofty standards of the Golden Gopher baseball program.
A HISTORY OF WINNING On May 14, 2009, a 7-6 win at Penn State gave Anderson his 1,000th career victory. He became the 29th coach to reach 1,000 wins, and the 20th to do so with the same school. He was also the 10th-youngest coach to win 1,000 games. Entering the 2016 season, Anderson's career record is 1,172-802-3 (.594). He ranks 29th all-time among Division I coaches in collegiate victories, and 10th among active head coaches.
Anderson holds the record for overall wins and conference wins while coaching at a Big Ten university. He earned his 500th Big Ten victory on April 14, 2013, and has a 528-323 (.620) conference record through 2015. While Anderson has been the head coach at Minnesota since the 1982 season, there have been 27 coaching changes in the conference.
The Gophers' 8-5 victory against Iowa on May 12, 2002, made Anderson the winningest coach in school history. His 755th win moved him past Siebert, his mentor, in the record books. The Gophers have had winning seasons in 32 of Anderson's 34 years as head coach. Anderson hasput together 28 seasons with at least 30 wins, and nine seasons with at least 40 wins.
BIG TEN TITLES Anderson has guided the Gophers to nine regular season Big Ten titles and a conference-best nine Big Ten Tournament titles. His regular season championships came in 1983, '84, '86, '87, 2000, '02, '03, '04 and '10, and his tournament championships in 1982, '85, '88, '92, '93, '98, 2001, `04 and '10. (The first four regular season titles were divisional.)
Anderson has led Minnesota to 22 finishes of second or better in the conference standings, and 19 tournament championship games. This included seven-straight title game appearances from 2001-07. Overall, the Gophers have played in the tournament in 28 of Anderson's 34 seasons.
The Gophers' 2003 and 2004 senior classes graduated with four Big Ten championship rings, from either regular season or conference tournament. The 2002-04 regular season titles were the Gophers' first string of three in a row since 1968-70. Minnesota won or split 38 of its 43 Big Ten series from 2002-07. It also set a conference record with 45 Big Ten wins in two seasons from 2003-04.
2004 was the Gophers' first time winning both the regular season and tournament championships. They did the same in 2010.
1978 (University of Minnesota)
1979-81 (University of Minnesota)
Assistant Men's Coach
1981-present (University of Minnesota)
Overall Record: 1,172-802-3 (.594)
All-time winningest coach in school history
Was the 10th-youngest collegiate coach to 1,000 wins
Big Ten Record: 528-323 (.620)
All-time winningest coach in B1G history
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Nine regular season Big Ten titles: 1983, '84, '86, '87, 2000, '02, '03, '04, '10
First four titles were division (West), and most recent five non-divisional
The 2002-04 titles were Minnesota's first string of three in a row since 1968-70
Anderson has led Minnesota to 22 finishes of second place or better
Nine Big Ten Tournament titles: 1982, '85, '88, '92, '93, '98, 2001, '04, '10
Minnesota has the most B1G Tournament titles of any school, all under Anderson
In 2004, Minnesota won both the regular season and tournament B1G titles for the first time in program history
The Gophers have played in 19 B1G championship games under Anderson and set a B1G record with seven straight championship appearances from 2001-07
Anderson has led Minnesota to 28 B1G Tournament appearances in 34 years
NCAA TOURNAMENT APPEARANCES
17 NCAA postseason appearances
Made NCAA Tournament in Anderson's first year as head coach (1982)
Most recent NCAA berths were back-to-back appearances in 2009 and 2010
AWARDS AND HONORS
Six-time Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year: 1982, 2000, '02, '03, '04, '10
First coach in B1G history to win the award three years in a row
American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame (2008)
The third Gopher coach to be inducted, joining Frank McCormick and Dick Siebert
"M" Club Hall of Fame (2002)
Minnesota High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame (2013)
Inducted despite never coaching at the high school level
Hibbing Community College Hall of Fame
PLAYING EXPERIENCE - MINNESOTA
1974-75 - Pitcher
1976-77 - Student Assistant
Team Most Valuable Player in 1977
University of Minnesota (1977)
B.S. in Education
Nashwauk-Keewatin High School (1973)
Born: May 16, 1955 (Hibbing Minnesota)
Family: wife, Jan, and daughter, Erin Elizabeth
NCAA APPEARANCES Under Anderson, Minnesota has appeared 17 times in the NCAA postseason. The first was during Anderson's inaugural season, 1982, and the most recent back-to-back in 2009 and 2010. Twice in Anderson's tenure, the Gophers have put together four-year streaks of NCAA Regional appearances: 1991-94 and 1998-2001.
In 2009, the Gophers lost to eventual national champion LSU in the title game of the Baton Rouge Regional. At the 2010 Fullerton Regional, they won their first two games against Cal State-Fullerton before being eliminated.
HALLS OF FAME Anderson has been inducted into four different organizations' halls of fame: the American Baseball Coaches Association (2008), the University of Minnesota "M" Club (2002), the Minnesota High School Baseball Coaches Association (2013) and Hibbing Community College.
With his induction into the ABCA Hall of Fame on Jan. 4, 2008, Anderson joined his mentor, Siebert, and another former Gophers coach, Frank McCormick. Anderson was the eighth coach from the state of Minnesota and the 15th Big Ten coach to receive that honor.
He was inducted into the MHSBCA Hall of Fame despite never having coached at the high school level. Anderson's contributions to high school baseball in the state include organizing camps/clinics and fall leagues and fundraising for Siebert Field, which frequently hosts high school level games.
COACHING AWARDS Six times Anderson has been recognized as Big Ten Coach of the Year. He earned the honor as a rookie head coach in 1982, and again in 2000. Anderson became the first coach to win the award three times in a row (2002, '03, '04) a few years later. He was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the sixth time in 2010, a year in which Minnesota won both the regular season and tournament conference titles. Anderson was also named ABCA Mideast Region Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2010.
INDIVIDUAL PLAYER ACCOLADES All-Americans Six different Gophers have earned seven All-America First Team honors under Anderson. Second baseman Brian Raabe and catcher Dan Wilson both earned the award in 1990. Shortstop Brent Gates (1991), second baseman Mark Merila (1993-94), catcher Shane Gunderson (1995) and second baseman Derek McCallum (2009) also received first-team nods.
Merila (1992, '94), first baseman Robb Quinlan (1998), second baseman Luke Appert (2003) and pitcher Glen Perkins (2003-04) were named to All-America Second Teams, and Gunderson (1995), Quinlan (1998-99), third baseman Jack Hannahan (2001), Appert (2002-03) and Perkins (2004) to All-America Third Teams.
Anderson has coached seven Freshman All-Americans in catcher Darren Grass (1992), outfielder Sam Steidl (2001), Perkins (2003), catcher/DH Andy Hunter (2003), first baseman/DH Mike Mee (2004), outfielder Matt Nohelty (2006) and shortstop AJ Pettersen (2009). Receiving Freshman All-America Honorable Mention were: pitchers James Brower and Mark Vandersall (1992), shortstop Rick Brousseau (1998), Appert (2000), first baseman Nick O'Shea (2009) and outfielder Justin Gominsky (2009).
Big Ten Awards Seven different Gophers have won eight Big Ten Player of the Year awards under Anderson's tutelage: catcher Terry Steinbach (1983), shortstop Brent Gates (1991), second baseman Mark Merila (1994), catcher Shane Gunderson (1995), first baseman Robb Quinlan (1999), third baseman Jack Hannahan (2001) and second baseman Luke Appert (2002-03).
C.J. Woodrow (2002) and Glen Perkins (2004) have earned Pitcher of the Year accolades, and three Gophers--Dan Wilson (1988), Merila (1991) and Perkins (2003)--have been named Freshman of the Year.
Minnesota has had 69 All-Big Ten First Team selections with Anderson at the helm. Most recently, pitchers Tom Windle and DJ Snelten were both named to the First Team in 2013. In 2015, shortstop Michael Handel earned All-Big Ten Second Team honors.
Anderson has also coached several Academic All-Americans, including Troy Larson (2012-13) and Matt Nohelty (2009), and Academic All-District honorees, including Ben Meyer in 2014 and 2015.
ACADEMIC SUCCESS Developing all-around student-athletes is Anderson's top priority. As well as succeeding on the field, the Golden Gophers have excelled in the classroom. Anderson has coached 262 Academic All-Big Ten selections, including 18 honorees in 2014.
SIEBERT FIELD Thanks to Anderson's fundraising ability, Minnesota was able to build the new Siebert Field, a state-of-the-art facility with a MondoTurf playing surface. Construction was completed in 2012, and the Golden Gophers opened their new home with a game against Ohio State on April 5, 2013. The addition of a lighting system brought the first night games to new Siebert in 2014.
OTHER COACHING OPPORTUNITIES AND BASEBALL DEVELOPMENT In the summer of 1993, Anderson served as head coach for USA Baseball. He guided Team USA to a 30-16 record, including a silver medal finish at the Intercontinental Cup in Parna, Italy. The squad also went 8-1 in the World Championships. Anderson had served as an assistant for USA Baseball in 1989-90.
Anderson co-authored a book, Why Good Coaches Quit--And How You Can Stay in the Game, with sports psychologist Rick Aberman. In the book, Anderson offers practical solutions to the problems that coaches at all levels routinely encounter on and off the field.
GOPHERS IN THE PROS Eighteen Gophers who played for Anderson have gone on to play Major League Baseball, with many others continuing their careers in the minor leagues. Current MLB Gophers are 2014 All-Star closer Glen Perkins (Twins) and Jack Hannahan (Reds). Pitcher Seth Rosin made his MLB debut for the Rangers in 2014. MLB teams have made 93 draft picks of Gophers since Anderson became head coach.
FROM PLAYER TO COACH After graduating from Nashwauk-Keewatin High School in northern Minnesota, Anderson was a pitcher for the Gophers in 1974-75. An injury ended his playing career, but he remained involved as a student coach. He was voted Team MVP of the 1977 Gophers squad which featured Future Hall of Famer Paul Molitor and played in the College World Series.
Anderson started his coaching career in 1978 as a graduate assistant under Siebert. After Siebert's death in December 1978, Anderson was elevated to the position of assistant coach under then-head coach George Thomas.
Upon Thomas' resignation after the 1981 season, Anderson was named the 13th coach in Gopher baseball history. At the time, at age 26, he was the youngest head baseball coach in Big Ten history.
PERSONAL Anderson and his wife, Jan, have been married for 22 years. Their daughter, Erin Elizabeth, attends the University of Minnesota.