(St. Louis, Mo. April 4, 2010)
Mizzou fans, as with fans of any team notice the negatives first. Whether it’s his 43-69 record in seven years of ACC play at the University of Miami. Or his overall record of 129-101 as a head coach. His tenure at Miami was highlighted by the Hurricanes 23-11 season in 2007 when they reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Haith’s Hurricanes also qualified for the NIT four times.
He’s not Matt Painter, nor is he Brad Stevens or Shaka Smart. But he could be just what the Tigers need: a coach who’s good at recruiting on a national level. He could also help Mizzou’s reputation out as well when it comes to academics because Haith has graduated 21 of his 22 players at Miami.
When the job opened a few weeks ago when Mike Anderson left to take the job at the University of Arkansas, Mizzou Athletic Director Mike Alden laid out a few requirements that Haith fulfills.
“That’s a lot of recruiting that is gonna need to take place. You needed to make sure you were identifying someone that could hit the ground running. National connections, Big 12 connections and to be able to move us forward,” Alden said. “We had to have someone that had a familiarity with the footprint of the Big 12, as well as the ability to attract national recruits. Frank Haith has done that.”
Haith has managed to recruit six McDonald’s All-Americans at various stops in his career. While at the University of Texas he was the Assistant Head Coach to Rick Barnes where he recruited LaMarcus Aldridge and Daniel Gibson who both currently play in the NBA. While at Miami he continuously looked outside of the state recruiting players from states as far away as Ohio and even Connecticut.
Haith’s record may be mediocre but he will have better tools to work with at Mizzou. The Tigers currently have three available scholarships for the class of 2011 and six remaining for 2012 which should give Haith plenty of work to start with. Especially if juniors Kim English and Laurence Bowers do get drafted later this year.
You can look at Haith’s track record all you want but perhaps there’s more to him that the wins and losses show. More that Mizzou fans should consider before condemning the Mizzou administration.