April 5, 2006

Melvin Watkins staying at Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Melvin Watkins, who finished last season as the interim coach at Missouri, was one of four coaches hired Wednesday by new head man Mike Anderson.

Watkins was associate head coach the last two seasons under Quin Snyder and his job title remains the same.

Anderson also hired three of his assistants from UAB, including his nephew T.J. Cleveland, a former Arkansas point guard. Cleveland was video coordinator for three seasons before becoming a full-time assistant last season, and Matt Zimmerman was an assistant all four years Anderson was at UAB.

Jeff Daniels was hired as director of basketball operations, the same post he had at UAB last season.

A number of Missouri players wanted Watkins, 51, to get the head coaching job although he was never mentioned as a serious candidate. During the school's job search he continued to recruit, a sign that the school wanted to keep him.

''We are excited to have Melvin remain with us as our associate head coach,'' Anderson said in a statement. ''Melvin is a character guy, a family guy and those are traits that I see in myself and want in my staff.''

Previously, Watkins was head coach for six seasons at Texas A&M and two seasons at Charlotte, his alma mater. He was hired by Missouri after being fired at Texas A&M.

Watkins' son, Marcus, started a handful of games last season at guard and will be a senior next season.

''I'm excited about the opportunity to be a part of what I feel is an exciting brand of basketball and a winning brand of basketball,'' Watkins said. ''How can you not want to be a part of this?''

For more coverage of the Missouri Tigers, check out PoewrMizzou.com.


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