04 April 2011

Frank Haith - 17th Coach

Board of Curators approves Haith deal
by MizzMatt - 4/4/11 @mizzou_matt on Twitter
Columbia, MO- For nearly two hours, the University of Missouri Board of Curators met via teleconference to discuss multiple topics.  The media was allowed for most of it, but when it came time to discuss "personnel matters", the media was dismissed, leaving all of Mizzou Nation in limbo.  Finally, at about 9:30p, the news broke.  Former University of Miami head coach Frank Haith is now the 17th men's basketball coach in Missouri history.  I was against the decision from the moment I learned about it late Sunday night, but now that he is a Tiger, he has my undying support.

Haith's deal that was approved by the BoC is a five-year, $1.5 mil/yr with $100k deferred money, with an automatic one-year extension effective May 1st, 2012.  Painter was offered a cool $2.2 mil/yr, Anderson $2 mil/yr.  Many reports out there that Minnesota's Tubby Smith and VCU's Shaka Smart rejected MUAD Mike Alden's offers, saying that Alden was "lowballing" potential hires.

Over the past seven seasons with Miami, Haith has gone 124-96, including 43-69 in ACC play.  He brings to Mizzou just one NCAA tourney appearance, and four NIT tournament berths, most recently in 2011 when they made it to the quarterfinals before losing to NIT runner-up Alabama, coached by a speculated Mizzou target Anthony Grant.  It's not the record or the rumored lowballing that the fans were upset about, it's the way that we brought in someone nobody's heard of.  This hire seemingly comes from nowhere.  It really should come as no surprise that we hired Haith, as in the post-Anderson press conference, Alden said that the number one priority is "graduation".  He made it a point to say that under Anderson, 12 of 15 graduated. In the official release from mutigers.com, the first stat that Alden points out is Haith's graduating 21 of 22:
"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. -From mutigers.com.  Nothing in there about Haith's record, or lack thereof, or his post-season experience.

Even with Haith's dominance in recruiting (he's notorious for landing 4- and 5-star recruits) rumors are surrounding the team, however, on whether or not they decide to stay.  Laurence Bowers and Kim English have dropped their name into the draft, and there are rumors being dispelled (at the moment) by the Pressey brothers that they are going to Arkansas with "Uncle Mike".  Jon Sunvold on English and Bowers: "This will sound bad, but it's good for them to get a feel, because it's about as close as they'll get to an NBA camp.  I expect they'll stay at Mizzou."  How will the future of Mizzou basketball play out?  The ball is now in Frank Haith's court...

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