Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q/A with USF Bulls men's basketball coach Stan Heath

We caught up with USF men's basketball coach Stan Heath about his new coaching staff -- we'll have Q&As up shortly with assistants Eric Skeeters and Jeremy Cox -- and the difficult challenge of choosing those assistants.

GA: You had a chance to remold your staff a bit in making these two hires. How did it come together?

SH: It was really tough, and hard because I have a really good coach right here in Tommy Tonelli, a guy who in a lot of ways could do a great job as well and will in the future. It made me evaluate some of the things we need to do as a staff to do better, for this season, for our team, for our future. I wanted someone who at the end of the day was very effective and productive and would bring something to our program that would make us better. I feel like I found that.

GA: You said your first priority was finding recruiters, someone who could raise the level of talent on your roster to help compete at a higher level in the Big East. You've already talked about Skeeters, but talk about Cox, who you've known since he was at Arkansas-Fort Smith and you were at Arkansas.

SH: We just hit it off from Day One. When I was coach at Arkansas, right away, he was coming to practices, just sitting around after we'd get done with practice and just talk basketball. He's a gymrat guy who loves the game, loves to look at all phases, whether it's recruiting, scouting, film or player development. We just developed a relationship over time where I felt really comfortable with him.

GA: He's been a head coach as well, so you get some X's and O's in addition to the recruiting he's shown at Texas A&M and Kentucky in the last few years.

SH: That's where I thought he had a little of an edge over most of the candidates. They all had some exceptional traits as well. He just brought a little bit of everything: former head coach, has recruited at a really high level, a guy I felt Billy (Gillispie) put in position to handle a lot of responsibilities, so he could make a smooth transition here as well. Also, in the back of my mind, having a guy with some junior college ties is a good plus for us, to be able to go into that area. That's an area that can help us.

GA: Have you figured out how the roles will be for the three assistants, how they'll work together?

SH: I think what will happen on our staff is we'll have a little more balance. Dan (Hipsher) was a right-hand man to me in a lot of ways, but more in scouting, player development, in being a guy I could bounce things off. I think I have that within my staff, but I think the recruiting will spread out a lot more. I think we have a little more of a younger staff, so we'll connect a little more with players, be more interactive with the guys. I see some plusses the new staff brings to the table, but we'll go through a transition phase. Hopefully it won't last very long because we need to hit the ground running. I like in the short amount of time the vibe, the interaction the guys have had with each other.

GA: Will one assistant handle certain positions -- one with the guards, one with the bigs?

SH: Reggie (Hanson) will stay in that role with the bigs. That won't change. I think Eric will do a lot more with the guards, and I think what's probably going to happen is Jeremy will oversee that area, so if one guy's gone, he'll take the bigs, if another guy's gone, he'll take the guards. I'll have him in a role where he'll make sure we're all working on the same things, so there's consistency there.

GA: Freshman guard Mike Burwell is already in school and working out with returning players. Will you have all your incoming players in school when the second half of summer classes starts in two weeks?

SH: Everybody's coming in. Everybody has been admitted, fully done. Jarrid (Famous) is finishing up a couple of classes at school, and once he's done with that, he'll be completely done, in time for him to be here for Summer B.

Q/A with USF Bulls men's basketball coach Stan Heath 06/16/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 2:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. NFL Week 3: What we learned


    Take the knee … well, not NOW

     1. Photo of Roger Mooney for Times Sports.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Chris Archer's primary problem Sunday, as in much of September, was a lack of slider command. When he can't throw it where he wants, and doesn't have the confidence in the changeup to throw it often, he can't win with just his fastball.

  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. Bradenton high school senior Chasten Whitfield inspires young anglers


    MADEIRA BEACH — The kids lined up single file, snow cones in hand, a procession of sweaty, excited grade schoolers watching Chasten Whitfield throw a cast net.

    Whitfield, a senior at Bradenton Manatee, demonstrates how to throw a cast net at the FishKids tournament in Madeira Beach. She also taught knot tying.
  5. Wreck helps Kyle Busch take control of Monster Cup's ISM 300

    Auto racing

    LOUDON, N.H. — Kyle Busch saw little but billowing white smoke that engulfed the track and blinded enough drivers that it caused a tremendous wreck that notably altered the race running order.

    Kyle Busch celebrates with a burnout after his third victory of the season that earns a berth in the second round of NASCAR’s playoffs. He also has some fun with Loudon the Lobster.