Kevin Anglin Interview

How did you get into coaching?

It was something when I was a player that win the back of my mind. When I graduated there was a coaching change. Coach Fogler left as I was graduating and I had a opportunity to join the new staff Jan’s first year. I got a taste of it at the collegiate level there. From there I ventured into the private sector and worked in the software business for a while. But I never gave up the idea of coaching. I coached a few middle school teams along the way and eventually decided I wanted to give the coaching thing a shot and was fortunate enough to land a high school job here at MBA. I’m finishing my fifth year here. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m lucky to get to do it.

Who or what inspired you to coach?

It’s always been a fascination I’ve had. The intricacies of the game and the subtleties of a group trying to work together. It’s probably a more of a what that inspired me though I’ve had some great coaches along the way. It’s more of an interest in the game and a challenge to see if I can not just be successful as a player but take a completely different view and help a group of players accomplish, achieve, and understand things that I felt I could do as a player.

Are you teaching too?

Yes, I teach a couple of classes of Math and some computer classes as well.

Does it make you fell old when they old when they call you Mr. Anglin?

Yeah, It does. The thing that makes me feel old is that the kids in middle school and even high school, they weren’t even born. And the ones that were where too young to remember. That is what makes feel old.

Why did you decide to come to Vanderbilt?

I grew up in Franklin and I wanted to play basketball at the highest level, as any high school kid would. I was also a good student. I wanted to go somewhere academically and somewhere that would be challenging and afford the kind of opportunities after school you would want. Vanderbilt seemed like the best of both worlds. I grew up following them being a kid in the area. It was terrific to have an opportunity to go there.

Did anyone try to steal you away from Vandy?

I had some other opportunities. I wasn’t very wise to the recruiting process and I probably limited myself more than I should have. I wanted to go to Vanderbilt and that’s where I ended up going. If I hadn’t gone to Vanderbilt I probably would’ve ended up at Evansville. Jim Crews was the coach at the time. It would have been a good fit for me also.

What are you most proud of from your time at Vandy?

I’m very proud of the things we accomplished over a four year period. We were able to win the NIT my freshman year on a team that was coming out of the era with Goheen, Booker, Kornet, and Purdue. They had a lot of success and most people thought that was going to be a rebuilding year. And to be able to accomplish that was very special.

To win the SEC was probably the thing I’m most proud of in that last year. The last was a culmination of everything we worked for our entire time there. The SEC championship and the NIT championship are the things I’m most proud of.

Where was the toughest place to play?

Rupp was the toughest place to play in a sense that it was the hardest place to win. It had a little to do with the atmosphere and a lot more to do with the way Kentucky played there.

I think Arkansas was the most hostile atmosphere when we played them in Barnhill. We played them there in my sophmore year in the preseason NIT and then again my junior year when they joined the SEC. That was the last year Barnhill was open. It was a rowdy and interesting place to play.

Who was the best player you played against at Vandy?

I guess there’s one that stands out. It was Chris Jackson. My freshman year he was a junior and he went pro after that. I remember trying to guard him and I’m a couple of steps off of him 30 feet away from the basket and he just pulled up shooting the ball. It was the game where we lost 121 to 108. He had about 45. I’m sure it was a very entertaining game to watch but he was doing things you were accustomed to other guys doing. That’s the one guy I couldn’t get a grip on. Although I only got two play him against a couple of times. Where as Allan Houston, James Robinson, Sprewell, all those other guys you had a bunch of wars with you figured out how to have some success against them.

Didn’t Chris Jackson tie the NBA record for consecutive free throws?

Yeah, he didn’t have a very long career. He kind of faded away but at the collegiate level he was talented.

What are your thoughts on Memorial Magic. In 91 Steve Grant hit the only 3 of his career in the last seconds to beat Georgia and in 1993 when Chris Lawson hit a putback at the buzzer to beat Top Ten Louisville.

I remember both of those. In fact I passed the ball to Steve out of a double team. He took a couple of dribbles and hit the three. That was really an amazing win because we were hanging by a thread all night. We had made some shots to keep us in it and that was a big win for us early in the year. Same thing with Louisville, they were a talented team. Of course our team that year was good too. Anytime you can beat quality teams like that at home and when you do it in exciting fashion like that at the end it’s even more memorable. I had a great view of Chris’s rebound and putback. I was one of the first couple of guys to run and jump on his back.

How cool was it to beat Kentucky the first time you played against them?

It was cool. One of the coolest things about it was the fact that the group before me the last few years Coach Newton was there had made a habit out of beating them regularly at least at Memorial. They had beaten them several times at home. When I got there it was a big game and we were excited but there was an expectation to beat them. It was great but we expected to do it. I think we beat them three out of four years in Memorial. We never got them at Rupp. We only really had one chance to that there. But it was cool it was certainly one of the games you circled and where excited about.

Last year’s team really raised the bar by beating then by 41. Hard to top that.

That’s going to be hard to do. We had a night like that my freshman or sophomore year where we beat UT by 40 in Memorial. It as one of those nights where we did everything right and we did everything wrong. They just happen occasionally for whatever reason.

How special was it being the NIT champions your freshman year?

It was really great. That team started very well. I think we were 10-2, 3-1 in the SEC. We won at Alabama to open the league. I think Derrick Wilcox hit a buzzer beater. Nobody had expected much from that team and to get off to that start was really exciting. Then it all went downhill for a while. We lost a few, then we lost 7 in a row. Several of them where heartbreakers where we lost by one or two. Nothing went our way. We started to play better and got into the NIT and we were excited to have the chance to keep playing. Basketball is a tournament game and it’s such fun when you are playing well and playing deep into a tournament. When you have a chance to win a national tournament that’s even more exciting and do something the school had never done before. We knew it wasn’t the NCAA National Championship but it was something the school had never done so it was special.

What do you remember about playing Georgetown in the NCAA tournament your sophomore year?

There are a couple of games that whether purposely or subconsciously I don’t remember much about. One of them was the Temple game my senior year. I can’t tell you too many details probably because I don’t want to remember them. The other was the Georgetown game. I remember we hung around all night and made a run in the 2nd half and had a chance to win but we just came up a little short. I do remember playing against the two 7 footers. The second memory is Steve Grant dunking over one of those two guys. He had a great dunk on one of them. That’s something I’ll never forget.

It’s funny you say that you don’t remember about the Temple game. When I talked to Bruce Elder he told me the same thing.

When you lose like that you tend to forget the losses and remember the big wins and great moments. For Bruce and I it was the end of our careers. We probably could have gone overseas and played but that was it. You are in a state of shock. It’s a state of shock and disappointment. It’s not something you dwell on and remember much about. I actually have a tape of that game. Of all the games I have on tape that’s not one I put it in to watch. And Georgetown, same thing for the same reason.

I was really proud of our effort against Georgetown. Everyone had counted us out but we hung around and had a chance to win it late.

I was a sophomore and we had other days to live and fight. The morale around the team after the game wasn’t negative. We had made the tournament. We were probably one of the last few teams in that year. In fact I remember watching the Selection Show that day. We didn’t watch it as a team. We were all scattered around campus. Part of that was a sign of the teams. Teams back then didn’t sit around and watch it was a team like they do today. We weren’t sure we were going to in. I remember almost being suprised when I saw the bracket. I think we all felt that when we lost to Georgia in the SEC tournament that we had played our way out of the tournament. It was exciting to be there. We played pretty well and didn’t win but the morale of the team was pretty good.

What did you think of the SEC bringing in Arkansas and South Carolina your junior year?

It was exciting. The league was great with ten teams but with the infusion of new blood and the infusion of the East and West schedules which kind of shook things up a little bit and made it different and exciting. It made the SEC tournament at the end of the year just that much more of an event. I don’t think anybody will forget when Arkansas entered the arena in Birmingham. There was a new kid on the block. They have just as many fans and Kentucky and they are just as vocal. As players we enjoyed the variety of competition. It was very cool.

The 18 game league schedule was brutal. There were 10 teams and you played the other nine teams twice and that was brutal. I don’t think it was a bad thing that the league games went to 16 instead of 18 with the new format.

What do you remember about beating Shaq and LSU your junior year?

We beat Shaq twice. My sophmore year was the game was when all the fireworks happened at the end of the game. Dale Brown was out at half court and Shaq got the technical. I remember that game very well. They had beaten us pretty handily the first three times since I had been there. We didn’t have an answer for Shaq, Chris Jackson, Stanley Robertson, and all those guys. I remember we sort of held the ball and slowed the pace. It frustrated them we controlled the game and made enough stops to get the win. It was exciting.We always felt we could beat anybody at Memorial.

The bigger suprise was when we beat them the next year, I guess. We didn’t have that strong of a team and were having a bad year. They were leading the league when they came in. We made a bunch of 3’s. Chris Woods and Todd Millholand and some others defended Shaq just enough to get the win. The last two times we played Shaq we beat them.

What do you remember about the big home wins against Arkansas and Kentucky your senior year?

I remember that team got off to a great start. We were 11-1 with the only loss to Illinois out in Alaska. Then we had two really tough losses. One was to Memphis State and at Florida. The Memphis game we controlled for the first 30 minutes then they started pressing us and we started very uncharacteristically lost out composure and started turning it over. We missed some free throws and ended up losing to Penny Hardaway and those guys.

Then we went down to Florida right after that. We fought and battled but Stacy Poole beats us with a buzzer beater after walking. We lost two in a row after such a great start. I remember thinking that the rest of the season could go one or two ways. We would either fold and wilt or get right back up off the canvas and that’s what we did. We came right back off the canvas and beat #1 Kentucky. We followed that up with the next game with a win over a talented Georgia team. We then went on to beat a Top Ten Arkansas team. That said alot about the backbone and character of that team. After that we followed it up with solid road wins over UT and Auburn. I think that told everybody that we were for real.

I was at the Arkansas game. It was very exciting and we scored a lot of points that night and to top it off Coach Richardson got thrown out.

When people think of Vandy they think 3 point shooting and ball control. That team with Kentucky and Arkansas was right there to lead the leauge in scoring with over 0 points a game. When you got two of those teams together it’s not suprising we’d score 100 points. Our team was very good at passing, catching, and shooting. When you get two teams like that out there it’s a lot of fun to watch.

How glad where you to avenge the loss to Illinois in the NCAA tournament?

It’s ironic. I think if you would have asked the guys in the room before the brackets where announced. I think there was a sense in the room where that was going to come back around somewhere along the way. We layed such a big egg in Alaska when we played them. That’s another game I don’t remember much about. We got outplayed, outmanned and outhustled. Nothing seemed to go well. We knew we were so much better than that. The chance to have redemption and do it right was very appealing. It was great to advance to the Sweet Sixteen but to avenge that loss it was satisfying.

How often do you come back to Memorial to see the games?

I used to come alot. Now that I’m coaching it’s harder to get over there because we play so many games and practice. When we aren’t playing I like to get home and see my family. I do keep up with them. I watch them on TV and get over there when I can. I went to Atlanta and watched them in the SEC tournament.

I’m very excited where the program is now. I feel it’s back to where we had it when Bruce and I graduated. It got derailed for a while with coaching changes and things that happened back in the mid-90’s. It’d back on track now where it can be a national program with not only a chance to make the tournament but a chance to make a deep run in it.

Where you in Atlanta for the tornado?

I was there with Bruce for the afternoon game. We went to eat and debated whether to go back or not. We went back to his house and all that stuff happened. We were right down there where all that stuff happened. Tornado’s don’t hit in metropolitan areas like that. It was crazy. Then what happened after that with moving the tournament to Georgia Tech and Georgia winning the whole thing. That will go down in history.

Anything else you’d like to say to the fans?

I still remember my playing days fondly. I am proud to have worn the Black and Gold. I look forward to having them have continued success.