Anderson was fired by Arkansas after the Razorbacks finished 18–16 this past season.
St. John's hired Mike Anderson to become the program's next head coach on Friday, the school confirmed.
The Red Storm have struggled to find a replacement for Chris Mullin, who stepped down as St. John's coach on April 9 after four seasons and two NCAA tournament appearances.
"Coach Anderson is one of the most respected coaches in college basketball and there is no doubt in my mind that he is the perfect fit to lead our program," St. John's director of athletics Mike Cragg said in a statement. "He has built programs and has sustained success throughout his career. We are confident that his extensive coaching experience, recruiting acumen and skill development program will elevate St. John's basketball to new heights. Coach Anderson has a relentless work ethic and he is focused on establishing a championship level program here in New York City."
Several candidates turned down the position, which remained as the last major coaching vacancy in men's college hoops. Loyola-Chicago head coach Porter Moser declined to take the job earlier this week, as did Iona's Tim Cluess, who took his name out of consideration Thursday. Former Louisville coach Rick Pitino reportedly reached out to St. John's about the vacancy, but the school did not appear interested. UMBC coach Ryan Odom was also linked to the position, but the school's athletic director dispelled those rumors Wednesday.
The Red Storm also interviewed Yale coach James Jones and Clippers scout and former Georgia Tech and Siena coach Paul Hewitt on Thursday but settled on Anderson, who most recently coached at the University of Arkansas.
Anderson was fired in March after eight seasons with the Razorbacks. Anderson's team finished a disappointing 18–16 this season with a loss to Indiana in the second round of the NIT tournament.
Arkansas made the NCAA tournament three times under Anderson, never advancing past the Round of 32. The 59-year-old coach went 169–102 in his eight years with the program. He spent time at both UAB and Missouri before taking the job in Fayetteville.
Anderson has reached nine NCAA tournaments, including an Elite Eight in 2009 with Missouri, during his 18-year coaching career.