May 24, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- University of New Mexico head women's basketball coach Yvonne Sanchez announced the hiring of assistant coach Joseph Anders today. Anders has spent over 25 years coaching at the collegiate level, including stops at Arizona State, Arkansas, Mississippi State, New Mexico State, Sacramento State and Northern Arizona.
Anders spent the last 11 years with the Sun Devils' women's basketball program, serving as an associate head coach for Charli Turner Thorne, then as interim head coach in 2011-12. The Sun Devils posted a 20-12 mark last season under Anders' direction, and in his 11 years at Arizona State made seven appearances in the NCAA tournament.
Anders' tie to New Mexico and coach Sanchez dates back to the late `90s, when both coaches worked with the women's program at New Mexico Sate. Sanchez was with the Aggies from 1993-99 while Anders joined NMSU's staff in 1996 and stayed until 2000.
"Coach Sanchez and I have known each other for almost 20 years," Anders said. "She's a very passionate person and coach and I'm really excited to blend with her. When coach reached out to me and told me about this opportunity, there was a sense of calm and peace for me because of the history she and I share."
He feels his enthusiasm, work ethic and people-first mentality will be assets to the program.
"It is the right fit for me," he said."I'm a teacher and I believe in people. This will allow me to be able to be in a position to serve--to serve Yvonne, to serve the University and to serve the student-athletes that we teach and coach. I want to be in a place where I can be utilized, where I honesty can feel that I am making a difference."
Coach Sanchez feels fortunate to have Anders on staff, noting the advantages of having someone she already knows join her staff.
"I am very, very fortunate to have him here and to have him work with this program and the rest of the staff," Sanchez said. "Joseph brings everything--which is important to me. Aside from the wealth of experience and knowledge he has, his recruiting skills are unbelievable. His X's and O's and coaching ability were obviously displayed last season with winning 20 games as an interim coach. His philosophy is the same as mine, we want good kids in, we want student-athletes in and we also want championships.He has a lot of different ideas that we can use to make this program more successful."
Anders played his first two seasons of college basketball at Southern Baptist College in Walnut Ridge, Ark., and completed his collegiate career at the University of Arkansas-Monticello. He graduated from Arkansas-Monticello in 1980 with a bachelor's degree in physical education and worked as a student assistant with the men's team the following season.
Anders moved on to a standout prep coaching stint at Arkansas' Wilmar High School, capturing a state championship heading the boy's program and finishing runner-up as the girl's coach.
After one season as the assistant women's basketball coach at the University of Arkansas, Anders began a six-year stint at Sacramento State in 1985. There he served as the assistant men's coach before being named interim head coach in December 1986.
He continued on as interim head coach from 1987-88 and led the Hornets to one of the most successful seasons in school history, posting a 22-6 mark and making it to the 1988 NCAA Division II Tournament. Sacramento State finished that season ranked eighth in the nation. Anders earned Northern California Coach of the Year honors and was nominated for Regional Coach of the Year. Following that season, he was promoted to head coach, producing a 75-86 record while helping the program move to Division I in 1991-92.
Anders spent 1992-94 as the assistant coach for the men's basketball team at Northern Arizona, helping the Lumberjacks post back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in more than 10 years. After his time at NAU, Anders returned to women's hoops, serving as the assistant coach at Mississippi State from 1994-96, four seasons at NMSU (1996-00) and one season at East Carolina before joining the Sun Devils.