Mizzou hires Miami’s Haith
Haith becomes 17th coach in Tigers’ history, leaves ‘Canes
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The University of Missouri announced on Monday that former University of Miami head coach Frank Haith has agreed to become the 17th men's basketball coach in school history. The University of Missouri System Board of Curators has approved an employment package of $1.5 million guaranteed for five years, plus $100,000 in deferred annual compensation, with a one-year automatic extension that would kick in on May 1, 2012.
Known for his recruiting prowess in the Big 12 region from his time at Texas and Texas A&M, Haith brings a complete package to Missouri Basketball, which includes on-court success, community involvement and unparalleled academic achievement in the classroom by his student-athletes.
Haith guided Miami's transition into the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and has helped a program void of basketball tradition (program was restarted in 1985-86) to five postseason appearances and Top 25 rankings three of the last four years.
"We're very pleased to have such a well-rounded and respected man lead our basketball program into the future," said MU Director of Athletics Mike Alden. "Frank has demonstrated throughout his career that he fits the criteria we were looking for. He's graduated 21-of-22 of his players while at Miami. He is recognized as one of the top recruiters in the nation and his Midwest ties fit very well with what we're needing right now. His entire reputation is based on building young men of character, and his work ethic is above reproach. Frank has the character and integrity we are looking for, and he's someone who is very excited to be a Missouri Tiger. And of course, we feel that all of these qualities combined, when given the opportunity at a program with a proud tradition and resources such as ours at Mizzou, that he's going to win at a very high level," he said.
"I'm honored to be named the new head coach at the University of Missouri and I want to thank Chancellor Brady Deaton and Director of Athletics Mike Alden for believing in me and presenting me with this tremendous opportunity to come back to the Big 12 Conference and lead this program," head coach Frank Haith said. "I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for this university and this program. We coached against Norm Stewart. Mizzou Arena and the facilities here are first class. The support of the students and administration is second-to-none and the tradition is outstanding. I'll tell you this Mizzou Nation, we are going to win and win big!
"Now with that being said, I also understand this is the Show-Me State," Haith continued. "Fans want to know that you are just as invested in them and their program as they are in you. And we will work tirelessly on the recruiting trail and we will develop first class young men, not only with the way they perform on the basketball court, but how they conduct themselves academically and in our community."
Haith spent seven seasons at the University of Miami overall, where he leaves the program as the winningest postseason coach in school history. Haith led the Hurricanes to the 2008 NCAA Tournament and he owns three of the school's six 20-win seasons since the restart of the program.
The 46-year old led Miami to one of the most successful seasons in school history in 2007-08. One year removed from a 12-20 season, Haith's crew won 23 games and qualified for NCAA Tournament play. The Hurricanes topped Saint Mary's, 78-64, in the first round and narrowly missed an upset of #2-seeded Texas in the second round in Little Rock, Ark. The 23 wins by the club was just one shy of the school record. In fact that 23-win season started an impressive run for Haith. Over his last four years Miami has averaged 21 victories per season, with three 20-win efforts. That proved to be quite an impressive accomplishment for UM. Haith took over a program that had suffered through back-to-back losing seasons and failed to even make the BIG EAST Tournament in 2003-04, the season prior to his arrival. To top it off, Miami was heading into the tradition-rich ACC the following season and Haith was the perfect coach to direct the transition. He helped Miami to back-to-back postseason appearances and after a reloading year in 2006-07, the Hurricanes enjoyed that historic 2007-08 campaign.
Most recently Haith and the Hurricanes advanced to postseason play in 2011, advancing to the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament. The Hurricanes topped Florida Atlantic and Missouri State in the opening round before falling to NIT runner-up, Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Prior to his time in Miami, Haith was a well-versed assistant coach, serving several seasons in the Big 12 Conference at both Texas and Texas A&M. He was the associate head coach for Rick Barnes in 2003-04 and spent three total years on the UT staff from 2001-04. A huge reason for Haith's success on the sideline has been his ability to recruit and mentor top-flight talent. He has recruited six McDonald's All-Americans in his 16 seasons as an assistant coach, starting with Rodney Rodgers in 1990 to Wake Forest. He also signed Jerald Brown at Texas A&M (1995) and helped Barnes and his staff sign four high school All-Americans at Texas: Brad Buckman (2002), LaMarcus Aldridge (2004), Daniel Gibson (2004) and Michael Williams (2004). That 2004 class was ranked #2 nationally by Rivals.com and all four players in that UT class were ranked among the Top 50.
During his three seasons at UT the Longhorns won 73 games, advancing to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments, including the 2002 and 2004 Sweet 16 and 2003 Final Four. He was also named the 2004 National Recruiter of the Year by Rivals.com, a key distinction with Missouri having as many as nine scholarships available over the next two seasons.
Haith also worked his recruiting magic at Wake Forest in his home state of North Carolina. In addition to the Demon Deacons qualifying for four consecutive postseason berths he helped sign a Top 10 recruiting class for Dave Odom's program.
Two stints at Texas A&M (1992-95 & 1996-97) surrounded one year at Penn State in 1995-96. That Nittany Lions team rose as high as #9 in the national polls and the club finished second in the Big Ten Conference race and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 31 years.
Haith's coaching experience has spanned four decades on the sidelines as either an assistant or head coach. He was the runner-up for the 2008 ACC Coach of the Year award and was a finalist for the 2008 Skip Prosser Man of the Year. He was a finalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year honor in 2005 and was the NABC's District 6 Coach of the Year his first season at Miami. He has also led the Hurricanes to unprecedented classroom success with 21 of 22 Miami players graduating.
Haith earned his undergraduate degree from Elon College (N.C.) in 1988 and was a Dean's List student while serving as a student assistant coach. He and his wife, Pam, have two children, a son Corey and a daughter, Brianna.