If you think the folks at NC State were surprised with their basketball hire, what about the fans at Missouri?
Missouri named former University of Miami coach Frank Haith as its new coach this week. And the initial reaction was far from favorable
To be blunt, schools weren’t exactly knocking down the door to hire Haith. He complied a 129-101 record in seven seasons at Miami, but only a 43-69 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Canes went to just one NCAA tournament, but four NIT affairs.
No doubt Haith jumped at the Missouri opportunity. Rumors said he was on the hot seat in Florida. So, apparently Missouri gave him a huge break.
The jury is still out whether Haith can coach. Some say he was hindered in Miami by the school’s lack of support for the basketball program. Some say he did more with less. He comes to Missouri with more resources and more support.
He battled the likes of Duke and North Carolina in the ACC, but the Big 12 Conference has top talent too. Texas, Kansas and Kansas State will make life interesting for the new Missouri coach. Word has it Haith is a strong recruiter and he will need those skills in his new conference.
Missouri tried to make a splash hire in courting Purdue’s Matt Painter. In these first few months, Haith will need his public relations skills as much as his coaching ones. He must prove that splash doesn’t necessarily translate into success and there are different paths to the victory column