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Originally published April 4, 2011 at 10:03p.m., updated April 5, 2011 at 01:17a.m.

Missouri hires Miami’s Frank Haith as coach

Miami head coach Frank Haith reacts in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game a in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, March 10, 2011. Haith will take over as coach at Missouri, leaving the Miami basketball program after seven seasons.

Miami head coach Frank Haith reacts in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game a in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, March 10, 2011. Haith will take over as coach at Missouri, leaving the Miami basketball program after seven seasons.

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— Frank Haith is returning to the Big 12 as Missouri’s head coach.

Missouri announced Monday night that the former assistant to Rick Barnes at Texas had agreed to leave Miami and take over the Tigers.

The Hurricanes said earlier in the day that Haith had resigned to take the Missouri job, but the Tigers were quiet until university curators met for nearly two hours late in a closed session to approve his hiring.

The 45-year-old Haith spent three years as an assistant at Texas, four years as an assistant at both Texas A&M; and Wake Forest, and had stints at Penn State and North Carolina-Wilmington.

He took over Miami in 2004 as his first head-coaching job.

Missouri will introduce Haith today. He replaces Mike Anderson, who went to Arkansas after five years in Columbia. Under Anderson, the Tigers made three consecutive NCAA Tournaments and fell one win short of the 2009 Final Four. Their 77 wins over the past three seasons is the best three-year-run in school history.

Missouri athletic director Mike Alden cited Haith’s recruiting skills and familiarity “with the footprint of the Big 12” as key elements in his decision. Missouri has three available scholarships for next season and will have six open slots in two years.

Haith will earn $1.5 million annually in a five-year deal, with $100,000 in deferred annual compensation and an automatic one-year contract extension effective May 1, 2012.

Alden tried last week to lure Matt Painter, but the Purdue coach instead signed a contract extension. Alden said Monday that Haith was the only person offered the job.

Haith went 129-101 in seven seasons with the Hurricanes, including 21-15 this season, when they played in the NIT. The Hurricanes went 43-69 in the Atlantic Coast Conference under Haith and made the NCAA Tournament once, losing in the second round in 2008.

Haith met with Miami’s players Monday afternoon to tell them about his decision, and Tony Hernandez, the school’s acting athletic director, said the group was “disappointed.” Hernandez, who received word Sunday from Alden that the Tigers were talking to Haith, said he doesn’t have a timetable to find Haith’s replacement.

Haith’s hiring surprised and disappointed many Missouri faithful still reeling from the departure of Anderson, who turned down a contract extension and healthy raise to return instead to Arkansas, where he spent 17 years as a Nolan Richardson assistant.

Alden said that Haith realizes he’ll need to win over a skeptical fan base.

“I told him, ‘This is the Show-Me State,”’ Alden said. “That’s who we are.”

Also on Monday, a pair of junior Missouri starters declared for the NBA Draft in a move the school said was not related to the coaching change. Both Laurence Bowers and Kim English have not hired agents, meaning they can return to school next year if their NBA plans don’t work out.

Comments

bradynsdad 8 years, 8 months ago

I can't figure out which is better, this hire or the action packed championship game.

MGJayhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm puzzled by this hire. Seems a bit of a reach for MU and Mike Alden. My guess is he'll get a couple of recruits and they'll leave for the NBA early. Seems like a nice guy (...who just got paid).

Last I heard Miami was looking to fire him.

Don Everett 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm not puzzled at all, I'm thrilled beyond all belief. Thank GOD alden is the ad at moosouri!!!! Wins against the slavers in basketball should be even easier now than when anderson was there.

bradynsdad 8 years, 8 months ago

If deandre daniels was at ku trying to get financial aid in place, then when it fell through and he went back to img, why didnt he go ahead and verbally commit? One more big would be nice.

Scott Smetana 8 years, 8 months ago

Mizzery fans are pissed and 'Canes fans are rejoicing. This is awesome. Mizzery fans claim on the web that the Board of Regents at MU (this must be a fine group) is going to try and stop the hire. I hope so, more fun for us to watch them continue to humiliate themselves!

Hank Cross 8 years, 8 months ago

This post sums it up: "Mizzou is going to have a whole new definition of 40 Minutes of Hell."

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