Last April the University of Missouri hired Frank Haith to replace Mike Anderson as coach of its men’s basketball program. Haith spent seven seasons as head coach at the University of Miami, where he had a record of 129-101 and led the Hurricanes to one NCAA Tournament appearance. He wasn’t Missouri’s first choice as attempts to land Matt Painter and Tubby Smith were unsuccessful.
Those who were disappointed with the hiring would later have fuel for their argument when Yahoo! Sports reporter Charles Robinson’s story on the University of Miami football scandal involving booster Nevin Shapiro was released in August. Haith was named in the report as Shapiro allegedly gave the basketball program $10,000 to help land recruit DeQuan Jones. According to Robinson an assistant coach set up the transaction which was later acknowledged by Haith, who would deny the claims.
Fast forward to the 2011-2012 college basketball season and all Frank Haith did in his first year with the Tigers was lead them to a 30-5 record, the Big 12 Tournament title, and a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. He was the recipient of the Henry Iba Award as national coach of the year as well as the Associated Press College Basketball Coach of the Year Award.
Today Haith received another honor, a key to the city of St. Louis.
Frank Haith will look to duplicate last season’s success despite losing his top three scorers in Marcus Denmon (17.7), Kim English (14.5), and Ricardo Ratliffe (13.9). Transfers Alex Oriakhi (UConn), Jordan Clarkson (Tulsa), Jabari Brown (Oregon), Earnest Ross (Auburn), and Keion Bell (Pepperdine) should help. As will the return of Michael Dixon and Phil Pressey and a recruiting class including Stefan Jankovic, Ryan Rosburg, and Tony Criswell.
Video via KSDK