Frank Haith became The University of Tulsa's 30th head basketball coach on April 18, 2014.
Haith brings 28 years of collegiate coaching experience and 17 years of advancing to postseason competition to the Tulsa basketball program.
"We are extremely pleased to have Frank Haith as our basketball coach and happy to welcome the Haith family to the Tulsa community," said Tulsa's VP & Director of Athletics Derrick Gragg at the introductory news conference. "Frank brings tremendous talent as a head coach and recruiter - qualities that will place us in an excellent position as TU basketball transitions into the competitive American Athletic Conference, a league that boasts the current national champion."
"Frank Haith brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from his job as head coach at Missouri," said university President Steadman Upham.
"Following in the footsteps of Golden Hurricane basketball coaching legends Nolan Richardson, Tubby Smith and Bill Self is no small order, but Frank is up to the task," Upham said. "The university has every confidence that Frank's success in the SEC will translate to recruiting and coaching success at TU."
Haith, 49, spent the previous 10 seasons as a head coach at two universities. His first seven seasons were spent at the University of Miami and the past three years at the University of Missouri. Haith has averaged 20.5 wins in his 10 years as a head coach, while compiling an overall 205-129 record for a .614 winning percentage and eight postseason tournament appearances.
Haith transitioned both programs into new conferences, moving Miami from the Big East Conference to the ACC and Missouri from the Big 12 Conference into the SEC. Tulsa transitioned into the American Athletic Conference from Conference USA on July 1, 2014.
"I'm tremendously excited to be the head basketball coach at The University of Tulsa," said Haith on April 18, 2014 at his introductory news conference. "You always want to work with great people and it's obvious in my brief time spent with President Upham and Dr. Gragg that they are two of the finest individuals anywhere, and I thank them for this opportunity. My family and I are thrilled about being a part of the TU family and the Tulsa community."
"We're looking forward to doing some special things at Tulsa. Danny and his team won the conference championship last year and our goal is to be a program that wins championships. Tulsa has enjoyed tremendous basketball success over the years and we look forward to continuing that tradition," said Haith.
"There's no question that Tulsa's move into the American Athletic Conference was a big part of making the decision to come here. The strength of this league is phenomenal. It's a basketball league. With Connecticut winning the national championship this past season and then with the strength of Memphis and Cincinnati and the emphasis that the other league members have placed on basketball, it was definitely a main reason for our family in deciding to come to Tulsa," added Haith.
In his three seasons at Missouri, Haith's teams posted a 76-28 record, while advancing in consecutive seasons to the NCAA Tournament and this past year moving to second round action in the postseason NIT. His first team at Missouri recorded a 30-5 mark during the 2011-12 campaign, and finished with a 23-11 record in 2012-13 and 23-12 mark this past season.
Haith became the fastest Mizzou head coach to post 50 wins and was the winningest coach at Missouri through two seasons with a 53-16 record for a .768 winning percentage. He led the basketball program during Missouri's transition from the Big 12 Conference to the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in 2012-13.
Missouri was the lone college basketball program in the 2012-13 season to advance to NCAA Tournament play with just one returning starter. During Missouri's NCAA Tournament run that year, the Tigers enjoyed its second undefeated season in Mizzou Arena history, going 17-0 at home with wins over a pair of nationally-ranked opponents, including No. 5 Florida.
Picked fourth in the 2011-12 Big 12 Conference preseason coaches' poll, Missouri won a school-record 14 league games, and finished second in the conference standings with a 14-4 mark. The Tigers won the school's final Big 12 Tournament Championship with a 3-0 run in Kansas City, before advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
In 2011-12, Haith received recognition in the form of numerous coaching accolades, including the prestigious Henry Iba National Coach of the Year honor, as well as the Associated Press National Coach of the Year. He was also named the Big 12 Coach of the Year and was the U.S. Basketball Writers Association District VI Coach of the Year. As a first-year coach, Haith guided his team to more regular season wins than any other Mizzou coach before him, and became the first Tiger head coach since 1920-21 to win his first 14 games.
During Haith's tenure, Missouri posted a 10-7 record against top-25 teams, including a 5-5 mark vs. schools ranked among the top-10 nationally. In his first of seven seasons at Miami, Haith guided the `Canes to seven ACC victories (despite being picked last) and qualified for postseason play in 2004-05. He was named a Naismith National Coach of the Year finalist and NABC District 6 Coach of the Year in 2005.
Miami returned to postseason play the following year (2005-06) as the Hurricanes won 18 games and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT, recording the program's first postseason wins since 2000. Over his final four seasons, Haith's Miami squad averaged 21 wins per season, with four consecutive postseason trips and had three of the school's six all-time 20-win ledgers. His Miami teams won six total games in the NCAA and National Invitation tournaments, including a memorable run to the second round of the Big Dance in 2008. The `Canes went 23-11 in Haith's fourth season, just one win shy of the school record and he was named a finalist for ACC Coach of the Year and the Skip Prosser Man of the Year honors.
During his time as a head coach, Haith's players were visible in the community, while he also saw an incredible 31-of-33 seniors walk across the stage to receive a diploma.
Haith paid his own way through Elon and graduated in 1988, while beginning his coaching career as a student assistant coach at the school in 1986. Haith helped the Phoenix twice win 20 games and earned the opportunity to coach at Wake Forest in the 1989-90 as a graduate assistant.
His first full-time coaching position on the Division I level came at UNC-Wilmington from 1990-92, and then went on to a three-year stop at Texas A&M from 1992-95, which included helping the Aggies reach postseason play in 1994.
A remarkable 21-win campaign during his one season at Penn State (1995-96) allowed the Nittany Lions to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 31 years, and he returned to Texas A&M and the Big 12 Conference for one season as the Aggies' Associate Head Coach in 1996-97 before returning to Wake Forest in 1997-98. The Demon Deacons reached postseason play each of his four years in Winston-Salem, including winning the NIT Championship in 2000 and reaching NCAA Tournament play in 2001.
Haith parlayed that success at Wake Forest into an opportunity at the University of Texas. Under Rick Barnes, Haith was, at the time, a part of the winningest three-year stretch in Texas Basketball history. The Longhorns averaged better than 24 wins per season and never failed to reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The Longhorns advanced to the Final Four in 2003 and Haith worked magic on the recruiting trail, ushering four McDonald's All-Americans to Austin, including Brad Buckman (2002), LaMarcus Aldridge (2004), Daniel Gibson (2004) and Michael Williams (2004). Texas' 2004 recruiting class was rated No. 2 nationally by Rivals.com, while Aldridge became the No. 2 overall draft pick by the Chicago Bulls in the 2006 NBA Draft.
Born in Queens, New York, Haith spent most of his childhood growing up in Burlington, North Carolina. He is one of 11 siblings. Haith and his wife Pam have two children: Corey, a junior at Tulsa, and Brianna.
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