Bulls find their coach in Heath
Former Arkansas coach Stan Heath, who has made three trips to the NCAA Tournament in the last six seasons, has accepted the challenge of making USF a competitive force in the Big East. The 42-year-old will be announced as the Bulls' new coach at a press conference at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Heath agreed to a five-year contract that, with incentives, could total $4.27 million. Former coach Robert McCullum would have made $275,000 next season. Heath and athletic director Doug Woolard flew from Atlanta to Arkansas on Monday to pick up his family and will go from Arkansas to Tampa for Tuesday's announcement.
Heath, who went 82-71 in five seasons at Arkansas, was chosen by Woolard, who spent more than three weeks speaking with a wide range of candidates to replace McCullum, fired March 9 after four losing seasons. Heath was fired one week ago despite back-to-back 20-win seasons that took the Razorbacks to the last two NCAA Tournaments.
Unlike the two most prominent initial candidates, Winthrop's Gregg Marshall and South Alabama's John Pelphrey, Heath has shown he can compete in a deep, difficult league as he has in the Southeastern Conference.
"I don't think there's a more competitive conference from top to bottom, and I think that's definitely an advantage," Heath said last week. "(The Big East) is a great league, definitely one of the top leagues in college basketball, with great basketball players and great basketball coaches. Night in, night out, it's a challenge."