Missouri basketball reached an agreement with associate head coach Tim Fuller to keep the program’s most important assistant in Columbia under new head coach Kim Anderson, the team announced Wednesday.
Fuller played a key role in recruiting and served as the interim head coach during former Missouri head coach Frank Haith’s five-game suspension last fall.
Fuller received an offer to become head coach at Florida A&M, according to CBS Sports. His contract with Missouri was set to expire at the end of June.
“I’m ecstatic right now,” Fuller said in a statement released by the team. “I love Missouri. I appreciate everything about our student-athletes, this state, this school and our fans. This has become my home.”
Just after reports of Fuller’s agreement started to trickle out, Missouri recruit Jakeenan Gant told PowerMizzou.com that he will honor his commitment to the Tigers. Fuller’s retention was reportedly very important to Gant, who is ranked the No. 52 recruit in the country by Rivals.com.
Fuller becomes the first member added to Anderson’s staff.
“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,” Anderson said in a statement released by the team. “I look forward to working closely with Tim as we move our program forward and am excited about the future of Tiger basketball.”
Neither Anderson nor Fuller commented on Fuller’s chances of returning at Anderson’s introduction Tuesday morning. Sophomore center Ryan Rosburg said the players hadn’t heard one way or another.
“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,” Fuller said in the statement. “This is going to be fun.”
In May 2012, ESPN.com named Fuller, 36, the No. 3 assistant coach under the age of 40.
Missouri athletics did not release details of Fuller’s contract. Anderson now has two more assistant coach roles to fill.