Mississippi State University Director of Athletics John Cohen announced on Dec. 8, 2016 the hiring of Tom Anagnost as the soccer program’s new head coach. Anagnost (uh-Nag-Nist) came to MSU from North Carolina State, where he spent the 2016 season as an assistant coach, aiding the Wolfpack to a NCAA Sweet 16 berth.
Anagnost is one of the top Division I head coaches in the country and has shown success everywhere he has been. Prior to MSU, he led both Miami and Central Michigan to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances, and twice to the second round, once with each program. He spent five years in the classroom as a teacher and educator and has shown a major commitment to academics, increasing his team’s GPA each year in charge.
In his inaugural year at the helm of the MSU Soccer program in 2017, the Bulldogs saw immediate and dramatic improvement both on and off the field. On the field, Anagnost led State to its best win percentage in 16 seasons (.611) and had the team on the cusp of reaching its first-ever NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs finished with its highest RPI in program history at No. 39, which was also the very first time MSU had finished in the top 50. Not only that, the Bulldogs had a chance to win every match and never lost by more than one goal. It capped off the best season by a first-year head coach in the program’s history. His first season also produced the program’s first All-American in standout goalkeeper Catalina Perez. Under his guidance, the Bulldogs also landed three players to the postseason All-SEC lists for the first time. Mallory Eubanks also became the program’s highest player ever selected in the NWSL Draft, going 16th overall to the Washington Spirit. On the offensive side, MSU found the back of the net 32 times—the most in 16 seasons. Its 1.78 goals per game was also the fourth-most in school history. On defense, Anagnost led the Maroon and White to its second-lowest goals allowed total in school history (19, 1.00/game).
In the classroom, his dedication to academics paid off as the Bulldog soccer team shattered its previous team-best GPA with a 3.69 mark in the fall 2017 term. In addition, Eubanks also became the team’s first-ever SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Anagnost has also shown a great ability to turn around soccer programs in just a short period of time, as he has showcased this talent in each of his head coaching stops. In his first head-coaching gig at Central Michigan, Anagnost’s club earned a second place finish in the Mid-American Conference despite finishing 10th a season before he took over the reins. Anagnost followed up the runner-up showing with back-to-back MAC titles and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances to cap his time with the Chippewas. At his next stop, Anagnost took Atlantic Coast Conference basement dweller Miami to back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths as he led the squad to the second round in his first season with the club in 2011.
Anagnost spent the prior two seasons as an assistant coach, first with the Michigan Wolverines in 2015 before joining NC State. In Raleigh, Anagnost aided the Wolfpack to a Sweet 16 appearance in his one season at NC State as the squad turned in a 11-9-2 record (4-5-1 ACC) in 2016.
With Michigan, the Wolverines posted a 12-7-2 record (6-3-2 Big Ten) and advanced to the second round of the conference tournament in 2015. Anagnost worked under head coach and former United State Women’s National Team coach Greg Ryan. During his time with the Wolverines, Anagnost helped improve the team’s NCAA Tournament resume and increased its RPI from the previous year. He played a major part in raising the quality and brand of soccer.
Prior to his assistant coaching jobs, Anagnost was the head coach of the University of Miami (Fla.) women’s soccer program for two seasons from 2011-12. He led the Hurricanes to a combined 19-15-5 record on the pitch and two consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, including the program’s first trip to the NCAA second round in 2011. The Hurricanes also qualified for the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament in 2012, while earning two wins over top-10 teams for the first time in school history.
Before his time in Coral Gables, Fla., Anagnost was the head coach of the Central Michigan program from 2009-10 after earning the job as an interim head coach in 2008 following his successful stint as an assistant with the club in 2007. He guided teams to a combined 45-12-7 record in his three seasons with the Chippewas and earned a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. Anagnost was named the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year in back-to-back seasons in 2008 and 2009. Inside the MAC, Anagnost’s clubs turned in a 31-4-6 record in league play.
Anagnost has perfected the art of turning around a program in a short period as he’s displayed that at his last two head coaching stops. With CMU, the Chippewas finished 10th overall in the MAC before Anagnost took over the helm as the squad finished 8-10-0 in 2007. Over his three-year span with the club, the Chippewas finished with one runner-up and two first place finishes in the MAC as the club won an impressive 45 matches under Anagnost. At Miami, Anagnost led the Hurricane’s to back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths and the program’s first and only second round appearance. Since Anagnost’s departure from Miami, the Hurricanes have not advanced to the postseason.
Anagnost has also spent five years in the classroom as a teacher and educator and has shown a major commitment to academics, increasing his team’s GPA each year in charge. While with Miami, the Hurricanes improved in the classroom each season under Anagnost’s guidance as the club posted the highest GPA in the ACC in 2011 and the best team GPA for Miami since 2000. At the helm with the Chippewas, Anagnost’s teams earned two consecutive NSCAA Academic National Championships by posting the highest team GPA in the nation of all divisions and both genders.
Anagnost, a native of Saginaw, Mi., also boasts nine years at the high school level in his home state of Michigan, coaching the Bay City John Glenn program (1999-02), Saginaw Heritage (2000-02) and Flint Powers Catholic (2003-07). He was named Saginaw Valley League Coach of the Year at Saginaw Heritage in 2002 after leading his club to the SVL title, while also earning two more Coach of the Year honors with Flint Powers.
As a collegiate player, Anagnost was a three-time NCAA Division III All-American at Kalamazoo College (1992-95). He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in history in 1995 and later went on to earn a teaching certificate from Saginaw Valley State in 2003. In 2006, he was inducted into the Kalamazoo College Sports Hall of Fame for his contributions over his successful four-year career with the Hornets.
Upon graduating from Kalamazoo, Anagnost played professionally for the Chicago Power of the National Professional Soccer League in 1995 under famed United States and Greek National Team coach Alkis Panagoulias, before playing for the Michigan Bucks of the United States Indoor Soccer League in 1996.
Anagnost holds a Advanced National Coaching Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and the United States Soccer Federation.