Anderson Announces Retirement at end of 2024 Season

Anderson Announces Retirement at end of 2024 Season

(Dec. 12) Minneapolis — The longest-tenured coach in the history of Gopher Athletics, head baseball coach John Anderson has announced that the 2024 season will be his last. Anderson will have been the head coach for 43 seasons at Minnesota.

Anderson joined the Gophers as a player in 1974. With his time spent as a player on the team, student assistant coach, graduate assistant and assistant coach, Anderson will have been at the ‘U’ for 49 years when he retires.

“It’s been the professional honor of my lifetime to work alongside some of the most talented and dedicated coaches in college baseball, support staff members, gifted colleagues, amazing student-athletes and an impressive group of alumni and donors who provided unwavering support throughout my tenure,” said Anderson. “I am grateful for the support of all the athletic directors I worked with throughout my career. The University and the tradition-rich Golden Gopher baseball program have impacted me and my family with so many special opportunities and wonderful memories. My hope is, as the leader of the program, I have been able to make the same impact in return. I will forever cherish my time as a student-athlete and coach and the important lifelong friendships and special relationships that were made during the past decades. There will be time to reminisce and share all the great stories that were created on this special journey when the 2024 season is over. But right now, my staff and I are focused on preparing our team for the season ahead and mentoring them into their best version of themselves, so they can reach their potential in the classroom and on the diamond.”

Anderson is the winningest baseball coach in the history of the Big Ten with a 1,365-997-3 (.579) overall record and a 614-414 (.598) record against conference opponents. Inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association in 2008, Anderson has been named the Big Ten Coach of the Year eight times, most recently in 2018 after leading Minnesota to a Big Ten Championship and the Super Regional for the first time in program history.

In his tenure, the Gopher baseball team has 11 Big Ten titles, 10 Big Ten Tournament championships and made 18 NCAA tournament appearances. The first was during Anderson’s inaugural season, 1982, and the most recent was in 2018. Twice in Anderson’s tenure, the Gophers have put together four-year streaks of NCAA Regional appearances: 1991-94 and 1998-2001.

“John is Minnesota baseball,” said Director of Athletics Mark Coyle. “He is one of the finest coaches and individuals in all of college athletics, and our University and state are better off because of his contributions. We look forward to celebrating his final season as the leader of the Gophers.”

Under his watch, 115 Gophers have been drafted to the MLB. With two selections in the 2023 draft, the Gophers extended their draft streak to 36 consecutive years. The streak is the longest in the Big Ten with Ohio State (12 years) and Michigan (10 years) as the next closest Big Ten teams.

Anderson has coached 28 All-America selections, nine Big Ten Players of the Year, three Big Ten Pitchers of the Year and four Big Ten Freshman of the Year during his tenure. He’s had winning records at Minnesota in 36 of his 42 seasons.

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, Dick 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.

The ‘U’ finished the 2023 season with an 18-34 overall record and was 10-14 in the Big Ten. Minnesota went 6-4 in its final 10 games, which included a road win at No. 19 Maryland. With a core group of players set to return this season, the Gophers will look to build on their end-of-season success in 2024.

John Anderson’s Gopher Timeline:
1974 – Anderson arrived at the University of Minnesota as a sophomore baseball player
1975 – Anderson retired from baseball due to injury
1976 – He became a student assistant coach as a junior in 1976, a role he stayed in through his graduation in 1977.
1978 – He became a graduate assistant under Dick Siebert in 1978.
1979 – Anderson was named a full-time assistant coach by Siebert’s successor, George Thomas.
1981 – In September, Thomas resigned and Anderson became the head coach at 26 years old (youngest in Big Ten history).
1982 – Anderson’s first team went 33-22-1 and earned an NCAA Regional bid, his first of 19 tournament appearances at Minnesota. His team also won the Big Ten Tournament title, his first of nine as a Gopher. He was named Big Ten Coach of the Year.
1986 – The ’86 Gophers went 40-19, Anderson’s first of 10 40-win seasons at Minnesota.
1991-95 – The first of four straight NCAA Regional appearances for the Gophers. They finished second in the Big Ten each season.
1998-01 – Anderson’s second four-year run of NCAA Tournament bids.
2000 – The Gophers went 38-24 (20-8 Big Ten) winning their first conference title under Anderson.
2002-04 – The ‘U’ took home three straight Big Ten titles and made the NCAA Tournament in both 2003 and 2004.
2009 – The ‘U’ went 40-19 (17-6 Big Ten) and made an NCAA Regional.
2010 – Minnesota won both the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles, advancing to the NCAA Tournament once again.
2016 – The Gophers took home their 10th Big Ten regular season title under Anderson after going just 21-30 (9-15 Big Ten) in 2015. They advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 18th time in Anderson’s career.
2018 – Perhaps the greatest season in Anderson’s tenure at the ‘U’. Minnesota went 44-15 (18-4 Big Ten), winning both the regular season and Big Ten tournament crowns. Minnesota hosted a regional and went 3-0 to advance to the Super Regionals, where it fell to future CWS champion and No. 1 seeded Oregon State. It was Minnesota’s furthest NCAA Tournament run since making the 1977 College World Series.
2024 – Set to be Anderson’s 43rd and final season as the head baseball coach at the University of Minnesota, where he’s worked or attended school for the past 49 years of his life.

Longest Coaching Tenures at the U of M:
45 years – John Anderson, Baseball (1979 to present)
44 years – Terry Ganley, Swimming & Diving (1977-78 to 2020-21)
44 years – George “Butch” Nash, Football (1947 to 1991)
38 years – Niels Thorpe, Swimming & Diving (1919-20 to 1956-57)
38 years – Ralph Piper, Gymnastics (1930 to 1962, 1963 to 1968)
36 years – Russ Fystrom, Gymnastics (1981 to 2016)
35 years – Wally Johnson, Wrestling (1951-52 to 1985-86)
34 years – Lynne Anderson, Track & Field (1980 to 2013)
34 years – Fred Roethlisberger, Gymnastics (1971 to 2004)
33 years – Roy Griak, Track & Field / Cross Country (1963 to 95)
33 years – Rob Fornasiere, Baseball (1986 to 2018)
31 years – Dick Siebert, Baseball (1948 to 78)
31 years – J Robinson, Wrestling (1985-96 to 2015-16)
31 years – Jean Freeman, Swimming (1973-74 to 2003-04)
31 years – Les Bolstad, Golf (1946 to 76)
30 years – Dennis Dale, Swimming (1984-85 to 2013-14)