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Hogs' Heath interested in USF

27

March

One day after he was fired as Arkansas' head coach, Stan Heath said Tuesday that's he's interested in the opening at South Florida, though he had not been contacted by the Bulls.

Heath, fired despite a 20-win season that took the Razorbacks to the NCAA Tournament, said he hasn't talked to any schools yet and would be interested in any job that gave him the opportunity for success at a high level. But he would welcome the challenge of coaching in the Big East, and the Detroit native said his years in Arkansas have made him more receptive to the idea of living in Florida. His time at Arkansas has shown he can turn around a program struggling near the bottom of a major conference.

What might make Heath preferable to other former candidates such as Winthrop's Gregg Marshall or South Alabama's John Pelphrey is that he's shown he can coach and hold his own in an elite-level conference such as the SEC. That said, if Doug Woolard hasn't contacted him almost 24 hours after his firing, perhaps he isn't a priority for the Bulls -- nobody but Woolard knows what direction the search is going this week, but Woolard and Heath (and nearly any other conceivable candidate) will be in Atlanta for the Final Four, most likely by Thursday.

And just as we add a name to the list, we apparently can take one off. ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla, a former coach at St. John's and New Mexico, has removed his name from consideration, according to ESPN.com's Andy Katz. To be honest, ESPN seemed to be the only place in contact with Fraschilla, who declined multiple interview requests through ESPN's communications department. I have good reason to believe he was being considered for the job, but Fraschilla is five years removed from coaching, so the seniors he'd be recruiting were in seventh grade the last time he was courtside. He could wind up making a strong return to coaching, and it'd be a great story, but at this point, at least initially, I don't know if it'll be in a major conference such as the Big East.

More to come, and keep those comments/questions coming, here or at auman@sptimes.com.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 11:22am]

    

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