Kim Anderson leaving Missouri after just 3 seasons

Missouri has asked Kim Anderson to step down as men's basketball coach after just three seasons.

Anderson, 61, took over in 2014 after Frank Haith left for the Tulsa opening. He went 19-44 in his first two seasons, then followed that up with a 7-23 record this past season. The school said he was asked to leave at the end of the season; he can still coach in the upcoming SEC tournament.

"This decision has been very difficult for me personally because of the tremendous respect I have for Kim," athletic director Jim Sterk said in a statement. "I know how hard he and his staff have worked to turn the program around over the last three years, however, the lack of on-court success has resulted in a significant drop in interest surrounding our program, and we could not afford for that to continue another year."

The school has been gauging the interest of potential candidates for the past few weeks, sources told ESPN. California's Cuonzo Martin is among the names on their list. Dan Parker & Associates have been retained to handle the search for a replacement, sources told ESPN.

Missouri self-imposed a postseason ban in January after admitting NCAA violations that occurred in the program under Haith's watch. The Tigers also vacated 23 wins from Haith's final season in Columbia. Haith left Missouri shortly after the school received a verbal notice of inquiry from the NCAA.

Anderson played his college ball at Missouri before being drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in 1977. He also spent time in Italy and France during his playing days. Anderson was an assistant at Missouri on two separate occasions before becoming the head coach at Central Missouri for 12 seasons. He won a D-II national championship in 2014.

"Missouri is a special institution to my family and I, and I am grateful for having had the opportunity to serve as the head coach at my alma mater," Anderson said in the statement. "While we have faced significant challenges over the last three years and been unable to achieve the on-court results everyone would have liked, I do believe we have been able to stabilize the program while watching our players become responsible young men on and off the court."

Anderson signed a five-year contract when hired.