Illini Fill Final Assistant Spot with Chicago Native Tim Anderson

Illini head coach Brad Underwood calls new assistant coach hire Tim Anderson “the complete package”.

July 9, 2021

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The final assistant coach position at Illinois on Brad Underwood’s staff has been filled.

Illinois has announced the hiring of DePaul assistant coach Tim Anderson to join previously hired and promoted Illini assistant coaches Chester Frazier and Geoff Anderson on Underwood’s completely revamped coaching staff.

Anderson, a Chicago native who brings 15 years of coaching and training experience to Illini staff and after serving as program director for MeanStreets, one of the most successful AAU programs in the country on the EYBL circuit, will be expected to bring significant recruiting ties to Underwood’s program.

"Tim is the complete package. He has expertise in every area to benefit our players and our program," Underwood said in a university release. "You're talking about someone who is an industry leader in player development, as evidenced by many of the world's top players selecting Ground Zero Training as the place to perfect their game. He is an excellent teacher, and he brings great recruiting ties not just in Chicago, but throughout the state of Illinois and nationally. Tim has done it at literally every level, from high school and AAU, to junior college and division II, and low major to high major in division I. He is a grinder who has paid his dues because he loves the game of basketball and helping people achieve their dreams.”

The university release says Anderson's start date with the Illini program will be July 26. An Illinois athletics spokesperson declined to clarify a question from IlliniGuys as to the official reason they can't start for another 17 days after this announcement. Speculation surrounding Anderson’s ties and responsibilities to pre-draft workouts and AAU summer basketball make Anderson unable to officially join the Illini program until the end of the month due to the university’s attempt to avoid a potential conflict of interest.

"It's exciting to become part of Illinois Basketball, to join a program that is truly special with its history and its fan base, and to join Coach Underwood's winning culture, a coach who has won everywhere he's been throughout his career," Anderson said in the university release. "I grew up watching the Fighting Illini on channel 26, and understand the tradition that started with Coach Henson and has carried through to this day. For the all-time great players that wore the jersey and left a legacy with the success built here over the years, that's what we're charged with continuing. It's a special opportunity and we're ready to get to work to make it happen."

During his time at DePaul, Anderson was part of the most combined wins for the program in 15 years over a two-year stretch (35 from 2019 to 2020), DePaul's best non-conference record during its 30-year history of conference membership (12-1 in 2019-20), and Big East Tournament wins in back-to-back seasons for the only time in school history (2020 and 2021).

Prior to his hire at DePaul, Anderson led Ground Zero Training in Chicago, preparing college players for the NBA Draft while also working out numerous NBA and overseas professional players. He also served as program director for MeanStreets, one of the most successful AAU programs in the country on the EYBL circuit.

Anderson has also spent two years as an assistant coach at Texas-Pan American, which is now UT-Rio Grande Valley.

Prior to being a college assistant, Anderson was head coach for three years at Crane High School, leading the Cougars to a combined 63-24 record and highlighted by an Illinois High School Association Super Sectionals appearance in 2011. It was during this time that he founded Ground Zero Training. His first coaching opportunity in Chicago was as an assistant at Malcolm X College.

(Cover photo courtesy DePaul University)

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