Apr 18, 2014, 2:49 PM EDT
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One day after it was reported by multiple outlets that Tulsa was closing in on hiring Frank Haith as its new head coach the school made it official, introducing Haith at a press conference Friday afternoon. Haith arrives at the school, which will join the American Athletic Conference on July 1, after spending three seasons as the head coach at Missouri.
Under Haith the Tigers made two NCAA tournament appearances, winning the Big 12 in 2011-12 and earning an at-large bid in its inaugural season as a member of the SEC (2012-13). Missouri missed out on the NCAA tournament this past season, finishing with a record of 23 wins and 12 losses.
“We are extremely pleased to have Frank Haith as our basketball coach and happy to welcome the Haith family to the Tulsa community,” Tulsa AD Dr. Derrick Gragg said. “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.”
One factor that contributed to Tulsa’s decision to hire Haith was its move to the American from Conference USA, with the new head coach having experienced two such moves during his head coaching career. Prior to coaching at Missouri, Haith spent seven seasons at Miami (2004-11), with the first year also being the Hurricanes’ first as a member of the ACC. Miami was making the transition from the Big East to the ACC.
Tulsa loses two seniors from this season’s NCAA tournament team in guards Tim Peete and Patrick Swilling Jr., but the good news for Haith is that the top three scorers all have eligibility remaining (provided they stay, of course). Guards James Woodard (15.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg) and Shaquille Harrison (9.6, 3.9, 3.2 apg) and forward Rashad Smith (12.0, 4.9) will all be juniors in 2014-15.
Tulsa’s lone rising senior is forward Marquel Curtis, who played in just nine games in 2013-14. Haith replaces Danny Manning, who was hired by Wake Forest earlier this month.
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