Missouri announces that Tim Fuller will remain on staff

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Missouri announced on Wednesday that Tim Fuller will remain on staff with new head coach Kim Anderson being hired.

Fuller had been with Frank Haith at Missouri for the last three seasons. He’s known as one of the best recruiters in the country and, as associate head coach, earned the first five wins of his career as acting head coach when Haith was suspended at the start of the season.

“I’m ecstatic right now,” Fuller said. “I love Missouri. I appreciate everything about our student-athletes, this state, this school and our fans. This has become my home. After meeting with Coach Anderson the last two days and seeing the way he relates to our student-athletes and coaches, I quickly accepted his offer to join his staff at Mizzou. This is going to be fun.”

Fuller had a chance to take the head coaching position at Florida A&M.

This move is important for the Tigers because it should help ensure that the program is able to continue bringing in top 100 recruits. Anderson has the reputation for being a terrific x’s-and-o’s coach, and while he spent 18 years as an assistant at the Division I level, he hasn’t been back in this century. Literally. The last time he was a D-I coach was in 1999, and while he built a program at Division II Central Missouri that won the 2014 national title, the contacts that he developed at that level will not be the same as the contacts that he would need to attract the kind of talent that Missouri needs to remain near the top of the SEC.

It should also help convince Jakeenan Gant, one of the stars of Missouri’s 2014 recruiting class, will remain with the program.

“I’d like to welcome Tim Fuller as the first member of our coaching staff here at Missouri and applaud how he led this program and kept Mizzou moving forward through practices and recruiting over the last couple weeks,” Anderson said. “Tim has displayed incredible character and loyalty to Mizzou during the transition and demonstrated from our first meeting his commitment and passion for our student-athletes and Mizzou Basketball. I look forward to working closely with Tim as we move our program forward and am excited about the future of Tiger Basketball.”

Mizzou’s secret weapon: Assistant Tim Fuller

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Frank Haith moved around quite a bit in his 15-year career as an assistant coach. In fact, he had two separate stints at Wake Forest and Texas A&M each, interspersed with short jaunts to Elon, Penn State and UNC-Wilmington. He recruited well at each stop, landing McDonald’s All-Americans for the Deacs and Aggies before really making his name at Texas under Rick Barnes. It was his recruiting acumen for the Longhorns that earned him a shot at Miami, which led to his current exalted post as head man at Missouri.

That said, eight employers in 19 years is not ideal for anyone’s resume. Haith knows that better than anyone, and he made a bold move to lock in his own top assistant this week, naming 34-year-old Tim Fuller (far left in photo) as Associate Head Coach at Mizzou after just one year of service to the program.

“Coach said I was his top guy,” Fuller told the Kansas City Star. “But he challenged me to earn that title publicly.”

And earn it he did. The Star article summed up Fuller’s 12 months of hard work in one convincing paragraph:

Once he was hired, Fuller hit the road for a program that badly needed players – Missouri did not have a freshman class last season – and landed several transfers who figure to play major roles this season, including center Alex Oriakhi (UConn), Keion Bell (Pepperdine), Earnest Ross (Auburn) and Jabari Brown (Oregon). He also recruited two talented freshmen in Stefan Jankovic and Negus Webster-Chan, who both arrive in the fall.

Lest Fuller sound like a one-trick pony, the article went on to point out that last year’s players raved about the assistant’s on-court instruction. This promotion so early in his career will give him some experience as a manager and administrator, which puts him on the fast track to a head job somewhere down the road.

If you’re looking for the next Shaka Smart or Brad Stevens, look to Frank Haith’s right hand man.

Eric Angevine is editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.