John Anderson, acclaimed SportsCenter anchor, joins Missouri School of Journalism faculty

Anderson will begin duties in January 2025.

John Anderson

June 24, 2024

Anchor of ESPN’s flagship SportsCenter program for 25 years, John Anderson, B.J. ’87, will join the University of Missouri School of Journalism’s faculty as the Leonard H. Goldenson Endowed Chair in Radio and Television Journalism beginning January 2025. Anderson’s last SportsCenter episode will air on Friday, June 28.

After getting his start at the Missouri News Network’s KOMU-TV as a Mizzou student-journalist, Anderson served in local television news for more than a decade before landing at ESPN. He worked as an award-winning sports reporter and anchor at stations in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Phoenix, Arizona.

Joining ESPN in 1999 and kicking off his tenure as one of the network’s longest-serving anchors — a journey that secured him four Emmy Awards, Anderson sees his new role at the school of journalism as yet another pinnacle of success in his storied career.

“Why wouldn’t you want to go play for the Yankees?” said Anderson, who will also hold the position of professional practice professor. “That’s what Mizzou is. If you’re going to go play, why not go play for the team with all the world titles? I could not have thought of a better post-ESPN landing spot.”

Continuing on the time-honored tradition that is the Missouri Method — a teaching-by-doing practice that has long served Mizzou students — Anderson will not only impart the lessons he has learned through hands-on experience but also remain active in the sports journalism industry, where he plans to collaborate with ESPN on occasion.

For the past 22 years, Anderson has sponsored a Mizzou student internship at ESPN, a tradition that he said spurred all SEC schools to send interns after Mizzou joined the conference in 2011. Now, Anderson is returning home to his alma mater and hopes to give back in new ways but also those that are tried and true.

“What are you doing if you’re not going to help bring somebody else along?” Anderson said. “I think about my life, and someone always took the time to bring me along, whether it was a baseball or track coach who taught me how to be a good teammate, or whether it was professors like Stacey Woelfel, Don Ranly or Karen List who taught me that being prepared doesn’t mean you’re a finished product. I have benefited from so many people who have looked out for me, and I only have three kids — I can look out for a few more than that.”

Read more from the Missouri School of Journalism

Subscribe to

Show Me Mizzou

Stay up-to-date with the latest news by subscribing to the Show Me Mizzou newsletter.