While the women’s basketball team didn’t win many games last season, head coach Yvonne Sanchez is confident her new assistant can help boost performance.
Joseph Anders, Arizona State’s former interim head coach, will join the Lobos as Sanchez’s assistant next season. Anders brings 25 years of coaching experience to the Lobos.
He took over as interim head coach for the Sun Devils last season and went 20-12. In his 11 years as an assistant coach at ASU, the team made seven appearances in the NCAA tournament.
Anders is bringing winning team experience to the Lobos, a team that went 11-20 last year. The Lobos won only three of their 11 regular-season conference games.
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get him, to be honest,” Sanchez said. “The team did so well when he took it over as an interim at Arizona State. I am very, very fortunate to be able to bring him here to work with this program.”
Anders said he has a lot more to bring to the struggling program than winning experience.
“The strengths I bring are an enthusiasm for the game, an enthusiasm for student athletes and also an enthusiasm for doing things the right way,” Anders said.
Sanchez and Anders have a history together. They were both assistant coaches at New Mexico State from 1996 to 1999.
“Coach Sanchez and I have known each other for almost 20 years,” Anders said. “There was a peace for me (at UNM) because of the history that Yvonne and I have.”
Sanchez said she needed someone whose style she knew to serve as her assistant coach.
“There’s a difference when you bring somebody in and you know how they work and you know how they operate,” she said.
Sanchez said she is also a big fan of Anders’ recruiting and coaching skills.
“His recruiting skills are unbelievable,” Sanchez said. “His X’s and O’s and his coaching ability were displayed last year when he won 20 games.”
Even though Sanchez ranks higher on the coaching ladder, she said Anders will not be treated as a subordinate.
“He’s not working for me, we’re all working together,” Sanchez said. “Everybody operates as a team.”
Anders’ former coaching stints include Northern Arizona University, Mississippi State and East Carolina University. He said that at this point in his career, his new position with the Lobos is a perfect fit.
“This is the right fit for me because I am a teacher,” Anders said. “I believe in people. I want to be in a place where I feel like I am making a difference.”