St. John’s basketball fires head coach Mike Anderson after four seasons

St. John's basketball head coach Mike Anderson (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images)
St. John's basketball head coach Mike Anderson (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images) /

The St. John’s basketball program has fired head coach Mike Anderson. 

After four seasons at the helm of the St. John’s basketball program, head coach Mike Anderson has been fired.

The school made the decision official on Friday afternoon.

“After fully evaluating the men’s basketball program, our University has decided a change is needed in both the leadership and direction of St. John’s Basketball,” athletic director Mike Cragg said in a statement.

Anderson posted a 68-56 record (30-46 Big East) with the Johnnies and did not make the NCAA Tournament, or NIT, during his tenure.

“We wish Coach Mike Anderson and his family the best in their future,” Cragg continued.

The contract of the now 63-year old was extended through the 2026-27 season following the 2020-21 campaign in which the Red Storm finished fourth in the Big East regular season standings, its first top-four seed in the conference tournament for the first time since 2000.

Anderson was also named as the Big East Coach of the Year during the renaissance season for the Red Storm as it was the first time the program finished with a .500 or better record in the league since 2014-15.

The team still failed to make the semifinals of the fan-less Big East Tournament after an overtime quarterfinal loss to Seton Hall and has not played on a Friday night at Madison Square Garden in March since 2000.

However, things still looked to be trending upwards for Anderson and St. John’s after two seasons in which the team exceeded its low expectations.

St. John’s basketball sees regression in each of last two seasons

St. John’s finished with a NET ranking of 98 this year and a record of 2-14 in Quad 1 and Quad 2 contests.

The team was also just 2-14 against teams ranked inside the Associated Press Top-25 during the last two seasons and Mike Anderson said in October that this year’s team had many of the qualities that his best teams have had but failed to consistently put things together.

The Red Storm season ended, again, in agonizing fashion when seeing a 14-point lead against Marquette evaporate quickly in the Big East Tournament quarterfinal as the offense was largely chaotic, unorganized, inefficient in the second half — like it has been for the vast majority of Anderson’s four seasons.

The Johnnies blew a 17-point lead a season ago against Villanova in the same round of the postseason to end the year for the same reasons.

St. John’s will begin a national search for its next head coach, hoping that person can rejuvenate a program that is losing its relevance, not only in the country but in the city it once dominated.

In the meantime, Van Macon will serve as the interim head coach.