Sid Hartman: John Anderson is one of U's all-time greats


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Nov 11, 2008
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per Sid:

Undeniable success

Yes, Anderson’s success comes from both his record and his longevity.

He is in his 37th season, and the only other Gophers coach who can claim a longer tenure is Ralph Piper in gymnastics. Piper coached for 39 years at the U, but they were not consecutive seasons like Anderson’s.

Anderson also has won, constantly.

He has just two losing seasons, and this weekend will be his 19th NCAA tournament. He has a 1,285-858-3 record (a .599 winning percentage), and the win total ranks 18th all-time in NCAA Division I and is the most ever for a Big Ten coach.

Last weekend Anderson won his 10th Big Ten tournament title after capturing his 11th Big Ten regular-season crown. He first won the Big Ten regular season in 1983, and to do the same thing 35 years later is an incredible testament to Anderson’s ability.

Bernie Bierman, the great Gophers football coach, won seven conference titles during his run in the 1930s and 1940s, with four outright and three ties. And while you wouldn’t always compare football to baseball at the college level, the fact is they both have to recruit and win.

J Robinson was as respected as any wrestling coach in the country, and he won six Big Ten team titles in his 30 seasons.

Don Lucia won eight conference hockey titles between the WCHA and Big Ten in his 19 seasons.

Brad Frost has won five conference crowns in his first 11 seasons as the women’s hockey coach and is the closest challenge Anderson has in terms of conference crowns.

Bierman, Robinson, Lucia and Frost have the benefit of having won at least one national title in their tenure, something that has eluded Anderson.

In basketball there really isn’t any coach who compares as the program has won just nine conference titles total since 1895 and only three since 1970, including their vacated 1996-1997 crown.

Go Gophers!!

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