Anderson and Moe: It’s time to up the ante

Anthony Maggio

After coaching last season without a contract, Minnesota baseball coach John Anderson is expecting word about a new contract from University administrators soon.

Anderson said Athletic Director Tom Moe put in a request for a new contract a few months ago to Vice President Tonya Moten Brown, but hasn’t heard of any information since.

“Because of issues with the legislature and some uncertainties there, we haven’t been able to make decisions on a number of these types of subjects,” Moe said.

Asked if other schools have contacted him, Anderson refused to comment.

Anderson continued his history of success at Minnesota last season, his 20th, as he led the Gophers to the Big Ten Tournament Championship and a berth in the NCAA tournament – despite losing two of his starting pitchers for a majority of the season.

His accomplishments at the University include a record of 728-447-3, five Big Ten championships, seven conference tournament championships and 12 NCAA appearances.

Anderson, the Big Ten’s all-time leader in conference wins, hopes his solid ledger will be reflected in his new contract.

“My old contract was five years,” Anderson said. “I’m sure I’ll get something similar in length and something that represents the marketplace as it is today. I’ve got 20 years experience at the University and surely would want to be considered as at least one of the top-paid coaches in the Big Ten.”

This past season, Anderson made almost $75,000 while top-paid Illinois head coach Richard Jones pulled in $104,800. Jones will likely get a raise in August.

“In John’s case, his record and the way in which he has ran his program suggest that he should be in the top two or three among coaches salaries in the Big Ten,” Moe said.

An even bigger issue for Anderson, however, is the status of the University’s baseball facility, Siebert Field.

In regards to his future at the University, the future of Siebert Field is “a central issue for me in terms of where that goes and what happens,” Anderson said. “I wasn’t really interested in a long term agreement without knowing what the status of that situation was. I think it has a huge impact on the future of the program.”

Anderson has been pushing for a new baseball stadium for the past eight years to replace the “antiquated” Siebert Field.

Anderson feels Minnesota’s baseball tradition has attracted young ballplayers to the University in the past. However, as the facility becomes outdated, the University becomes less attractive.

“I think your facility is a statement of commitment to your program,” Anderson said. “When we’re recruiting good players that’s what they want to know – where do you practice, where do you play and how does your facility stack up with others?

“People in our league like Ohio State have built an $8 million facility, Illinois has fixed its facility up and Iowa keeps improving theirs. That’s just the Big Ten. Then you go to the Nebraskas and the Wichitas and other people we recruit against on a regular basis, and it’s a factor.”

Anderson plans to meet with University facilities officials within the week to discuss pre-design issues of a new stadium and determine costs.

Anthony Maggio welcomes comments at [email protected].