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John Anderson came to the University of Minnesota in the fall of 1974 out of Nashwauk-Keewatin High School as a walk-on pitcher. He's stuck around Dinkytown for a half-century, becoming the Gophers baseball coach, collecting 1,365 victories and counting, and winning 21 Big Ten regular-season or tournament titles. This coming spring, Anderson will hang up his cleats, capping a career that ranks among the most successful in college baseball history.

Anderson, 68, announced Tuesday that he will retire at the end of the 2024 season, his 43rd as Gophers coach. He'll leave as the Big Ten's career victories leader, and he ranks second in wins among all active Division I baseball coaches.

"John is Minnesota baseball," Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle said in a statement. "He is one of the finest coaches and individuals in all of college athletics, and our University and state are better off because of his contributions."

Anderson's long list of accomplishments includes:

* Eleven Big Ten regular-season championships and 10 conference tournament titles;

* Nineteen NCAA tournament appearances;

* One hundred fifteen players who have been selected in the Major League Baseball draft;

* A career record of 1,365-997-3 overall and 614-414 in the Big Ten, with winning records in 36 of his 42 seasons;

* Induction into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2008.

"It's been the professional honor of my lifetime to work alongside some of the most talented and dedicated coaches in college baseball, support staff members, gifted colleagues, amazing student-athletes and an impressive group of alumni and donors who provided unwavering support throughout my tenure," Anderson said in a statement. "… The University and the tradition-rich Golden Gopher baseball program have impacted me and my family with so many special opportunities and wonderful memories. My hope is, as the leader of the program, I have been able to make the same impact in return."

When reached by phone, Anderson declined to comment further, preferring to keep the focus on the upcoming season instead of his career.

Anderson pitched for the Gophers in 1974 and '75 before an arm injury ended his playing career. He became a student assistant coach in 1976 and a graduate assistant in 1978 under coach Dick Siebert. He was named a full-time assistant in 1979, then succeeded George Thomas in September of 1981, at age 26 becoming the youngest head coach in Big Ten history.

The Gophers were an immediate success under Anderson, going 33-22-1, winning the Big Ten tournament title and earning an NCAA tournament berth. He was named Big Ten coach of the year, the first of eight such honors. The Gophers twice posted four-year runs of making the NCAA tournament, from 1991-94 and 1998-2001.

In 2018, Minnesota reached a high point under Anderson, winning the Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles and hosting an NCAA regional at Siebert Field. In that regional, the Gophers beat Canisius 10-1, then topped UCLA 3-2 in 10 innings and 13-8 in the championship game to reach a super regional at Oregon State. The Beavers beat the Gophers 8-1 and 6-3 on their way to a runner-up finish in the College World Series.

Since that 2018 season, the Gophers have struggled, going 30-77 from 2020-22. Last year, Minnesota went 18-34 with a team hit hard because of injuries.

Last May, Anderson indicated that he would be back for 2024 as a clause in his contract allowed. His aim is to return Gophers baseball back to its winning ways.

"Some of that's driven by the fact that I really love this group of kids, and I really like the kids coming in," he told the Star Tribune in May. "I really want to try to help them get the program back to the level we're used to here. And I think this group can do it."