Embracing the “championship approach” – passion, hard work, accountability, toughness, and family– has been the calling card for Head Coach Larry Anderson, who enters his 25th season guiding the Engineers of MIT in 2019-20.
Anderson joined the MIT athletic department in 1995 as the 18th head coach in the program’s storied 118-year history. Established in 1900, nine years after the game of basketball was invented, the MIT basketball program continued to develop under Anderson, earning the New England Basketball Coaches Association award for Most Improved Team in 1998. On November 29, 2008, Anderson surpassed legendary Jack Barry as the winningest coach in the program’s history. His teams have averaged over 21 wins per season since 2009 and he achieved his 300th win on January 10, 2015.
Anderson’s regular-season accomplishments have resulted in an impressive and unprecedented string of nine NCAA tournament bids in the past `` seasons, highlighted by a Final Four run as a national semi-finalist in 2012. In addition, he is the only coach in the program’s history to lead MIT to a No. 1 national ranking. Coach Anderson and the Engineers have been a fixture on the national basketball scene, ranked in the Top 25 eight of the past 11 seasons.
In 2017-18, Anderson's squad captured the NEWMAC Championship for the second straight season before advancing to the Elite Eight for just the second time in program history. In 2018-19, the Engineers claimed the NEWMAC regular-season crown and had three NEWMAC First Team All-Conference honorees.
To top off an incredible list of accolades in a long and distinguished career, Anderson was inducted into The New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009. During his team’s historic 2011-12 campaign, Anderson received the Jack Bennett Man of the Year Award presented by CollegeInsider.com. The award represents winning with integrity and is presented annually to a Non-Division I Head Coach who achieves success on the basketball court while displaying great moral integrity off of the court as well. At the NABC Coaches Convention awards presentation, in typical Larry Anderson fashion, he “spread the love” by recognizing the many collaborators over the years that helped build the program one day at a time.
“In this profession, there’s no way you can be successful without support – from the student-athletes, to the administration, to the community. You can take a mediocre coach give him all the support in the world and he can take the team to heights unheard of. That is why coaches are successful.”
Anderson arrived at MIT via Rust College in Holly Springs, Miss., where he graduated in 1987. After serving as captain his junior and senior years, Anderson remained at his alma mater as an assistant coach. While maintaining his devotion to the game and to Rust, he eventually assumed additional roles as the Associate Director of Athletics and Director of Student Activities.
In 24 seasons at MIT, Anderson, has embodied the "championship approach" philosophy and his achievements are unprecedented:
• 397 career wins, and over 130 NEWMAC wins
• NCAA Final Four (2012)
• NCAA Elite Eight (2018)
• 9 NCAA Tournaments bids
• 10 NCAA Tournament victories
• New England Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee (2009)
• Two-time New England Coach of the Year
• Three-time NEWMAC Coach of the Year
• College Insider’s Jack Bennett Man of the Year Award
• College Insider’s Glenn Robinson Division III National Coach of the Year Award Finalist
• National Player of the Year – Jimmy Bartolotta (2009)
• Coached 3 MIT graduates to play professional basketball
• Nationally Ranked in d3Hoops.com's Top 25 including No. 1 in the country
• 7 All-Americans (one honors)
• 13 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans
• 2 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans of the Year
• 3 d3Hoops.com Northeast Region Players of the Year
• 11 d3Hoops.com Northeast Region Players
• 1 d3Hoops.com Northeast Region Rookie of the Year
• 1 Jostens Trophy award winner
• 6 NEWMAC Tournament Championships
• 4 NEWMAC Regular-Season Championships
• 5 NEWMAC Players of the Year
• 5 NEWMAC Defensive Player of the Year
• 24 NEWMAC All-Conference Players
• 72 NEWMAC Academic All-Conference Players
• 5 NEWMAC Rookies of the Year
• 5 NEWMAC Tournament Most Outstanding Players