Tulsa has been the launchpad for a number of great coaching careers. Nolan Richardson, Tubby Smith, and Bill Self all spent portions of their careers there. Now Tulsa is set to replace outgoing head coach Danny Manning with…….Frank Haith? Haith, who has spent the last three seasons at Missouri, is set to become the next head coach at Tulsa, according to numerous reports.
Gary Parrish of CBS Sports reports that Tulsa is willing to pay Haith upwards of $1 million per year, and that, along with the fact that he could be on the hot seat if he has another bad year in Columbia, should be enough to get him to Tulsa.
Haith’s best year came in his first year, when Missouri finished 2 games back of Kansas in the Big 12 and won the Big 12 tournament. They were then upset in the first round of the NCAA tournament by 15th seeded Norfolk State.
The wins haven’t followed, as the Tigers won 23 games in each of the last two seasons, making the NCAA tournament in 2013 and missing out this season. Haith has not won an NCAA tournament game at Missouri.
His problems have been largely on defense. Missouri has finished 1st, 18th, and 32nd in offense in Haith’s tenure, but 146th, 73rd, and 160th defensively.
In all it is probably a good move for Haith, who was another year of missing the NCAA tournament away from getting fired (potentially) and this way he gets a fresh start with a brand new multiyear contract to boot. For Tulsa, it makes less sense. Haith has made just 3 NCAA tournament appearances since he took the Miami job in 2005, and has squandered some good if not great recruiting classes. If he can get the type of talent to Tulsa that he was able to get to Miami and Missouri he might be able to make more regular tournament trips, but this strikes me as an underwhelming hire for a program with a history of making great ones.
UPDATE: Haith is taking the job, via ESPN’s Jeff Goodman
#TulsaMBB athletic director Derrick Gragg told me explicitly that w his compliance background, he wants a coach who adheres to NCAA rules.
— John E. Hoover (@johnehoover) April 17, 2014
= comedy gold