COLUMBIA, Mo. -- New Missouri coach Kim Anderson is retaining Tim Fuller, the associate head coach under Frank Haith.
Fuller will enter his fourth season with the program. He earned the first five wins last season as acting head coach while Haith was suspended.
Anderson praised Fuller's work in practices and recruiting the last few weeks while the school was looking for a replacement. In a statement, Anderson said Fuller has shown "incredible character and loyalty."
After meeting with Anderson, Fuller said he was excited to take the offer. Anderson moved quickly on his first staff hire Wednesday, two days after getting a five-year contract.
Anderson welled up a few times and paused to collect himself at his introductory news conference Tuesday, a day after the school hired him to replace Haith.
"This is my dream job," he said. "You all probably figured that out a long time ago. I'm Mizzou through and through."
Athletic director Mike Alden said Anderson got a five-year contract with a base salary of $1.1 million and the total package worth more than $2 million per year. Anderson was a star player at Missouri in the 1970s and then a longtime key aide to Norm Stewart. He's interviewed for the job before and this time got the school's attention by winning a Division II title at Central Missouri this past season.
Alden used a search firm to help identify candidates for a job that might prove challenging especially at the outset. Haith left for Tulsa after Missouri settled for the NIT last season and there's a good chance only two starters will be back, neither of whom averaged in double figures. The new coach is fired up for the challenge.
"There is no place on Earth I would rather be than Columbia, Mo., and there is no other group of players I would rather work with than our current roster wearing black and gold," Anderson said.
Anderson met briefly with assistant coaches Monday, and then announced that Fuller will remain on staff Wednesday. Anderson plans on meeting with incoming recruits later this week, and will try to persuade high school star players JaKeenan Gant and Namon Wright to stay on. The holdovers, though, are more than ready to suit up for Anderson.
"I'm thrilled," sophomore forward Ryan Rosburg said. "I've had the pleasure of knowing him for a couple years, so I know what he stands for. Right when the job came available, that was the first person I thought of."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.