Following the recent loss of the University of Central Missouri’s top athletics administrator, UCM President Roger Best is turning to a seasoned veteran of the program, Kathy Anderson, to serve as interim Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics. Her appointment is effective today.

Best’s announcement follows the passing of Jerry Hughes, who served athletics for more than 40 years prior to his passing on Jan. 21. Anderson had served as Acting Athletics Director since Jan. 1, while Hughes was battling an illness.

“We are fortunate to have someone of Kathy's caliber and experience to step into this critical position for UCM. I have had the privilege of serving with Kathy in a variety of contexts during her lengthy service, and I have tremendous confidence in her ability to lead UCM Intercollegiate Athletics,” Best said. “Not surprising given Jerry Hughes' penchant for excellent recruitment, we have a deep bench in the department, and I'm sure Kathy will rely on the team to pull together to keep us moving forward."

Best added that he will be “deliberative in determining the best course of action” to fill the Vice President role. He’s very confident in the leadership Anderson will provide in the interim.

“Jerry Hughes led UCM Athletics for 40 years, and we remain saddened by his untimely passing,” Best said. “I intend to announce the next steps in identifying our next Vice President in the coming weeks and will also ensure that we move expeditiously given the importance of this position."

In commenting on her new assignment, Anderson noted, “I am humbled and honored to accept this interim role at my alma mater. UCM has incredible student-athletes, coaches and staff and I look forward to assisting them in achieving their goals both on and off the field of play."

Anderson, was an All-America student-athlete at UCM who played for the Jennies basketball team, and is also a member of the UCM Athletic Hall of Fame, having graduated from the university cum laude in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and mathematics. She joined UCM Intercollegiate Athletics in 2005 and is currently in her 18th year working with student-athletes on campus. Previous positions have included serving as Senior Associate Athletic Director for Internal Operations and Associate Athletic Director for Internal Operations. She was elevated to Associate Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics in 2022, and is also the Senior Woman Administrator (SWA) in athletics.

As an athletics leader, Anderson also brings to her administrative position experiences serving as Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance and Student Services at Northwest Missouri State University, in addition to serving prior to that as Admission and Eligibility Coordinator at the University of Washington, as well as Operations Coordinator for men’s basketball for the Washington Huskies. Her coaching career began in 1980 as women’s basketball coach at California State-Fullerton, where she served from 1980-1985 before moving on to the University of Washington as assistant basketball coach from 1985-1996, and as Assistant Director of Basketball Operations from 1996-1998.

Among her many collegiate sports accolades, Anderson lettered for four years in basketball, three years in softball, and once in track and field at UCM. In 1979-1980, she was named second-team Academic All-American, and in 1980 was honored as UCM Outstanding Senior Female Student-Athlete. Anderson also was named to the Jennies Basketball All-Decade Team for 1970-1980 and the Jennies Basketball Silver Anniversary Team for 1970-1995.

Her basketball experience also includes serving as a member of the USA Women’s National Basketball program for three years, serving as captain of the USA Women’s Junior Basketball team to Taiwan in 1978, and member of the USA Women’s Senior Basketball teams that  traveled to China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Russia. She served as assistant basketball coach in 2000 for the Seattle Storm and in 1998 for the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA.

To learn more about Anderson visit the UCM Athletics website.

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