FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Stan Heath, who guided 10th-seeded Kent State to within one win of the Final Four, has been named the men's basketball coach at the University of Arkansas.Heath, a former assistant under Tom Izzo at Michigan State, led the Golden Flashes to a 30-6 finish, including a spot opposite Indiana in the NCAA South Region final, in his first season as a head coach.
The 2002 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year set a KSU record for wins (30) and consecutive wins (21), set a MAC record for wins by a first-year coach and led Kent to its first MAC regular-season title as the Golden Flashes set a league record with 17 conference victories (17-1).
Before going to Kent, the Detroit native, 37, was a five-year assistant (1997-01) under Izzo at Michigan State. He helped the Spartans win the 2000 national title, advance to the Final Four three consecutive years (1999, 2000, 2001), win four straight Big Ten Conference regular-season titles and win Big Ten Tournament crowns in 1999 and 2000. Along the way, the Spartans were a combined 132-37, including a 115-25 mark over the last four seasons.
While at MSU, he coached 2001 All-Americans Jason Richardson and Charlie Bell, and earlier coached All-Americans and NBA first-round draft picks Mateen Cleaves and Morris Peterson. He recruited four McDonald's High School All-Americans to MSU - Richardson, Marcus Taylor, Zach Randolph and Kelvin Torbert.
At Arkansas, he takes over a program coming off a 14-15 season, but the Razorbacks had participated in 15 straight national post-season tournaments, including 13 NCAA Tournament bids with a national championship in 1994, a runner-up finish in 1995, a Final Four appearance in 1990, an Elite Eight appearance in 1991 and Sweet 16 appearances in 1993 and 1996.
Arkansas' 14-15 finish is its first losing record since 1986. Since 1975, UA has had just two losing seasons and earned NCAA bids 22 times.
Heath, who earned his bachelor's degree in social science from Eastern Michigan in 1988 and his master's in sports administration from Wayne State in 1993, was an assistant at Bowling Green State University in 1995 and 1996. From 1992-94, he was an assistant at Wayne State (Mich.) University, helping the Tartars reach the NCAA Division II playoffs all three years at the Detroit school with two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular-season titles, a trip to the national semifinals in 1993, a league tournament championship and a record of 70-23. He was associate head coach in 1994 when Wayne State set a school record for victories (25-5), including a 17-game winning streak.
The three-time letterman at Eastern Michigan University (1985, '86, '87) began his collegiate coaching career as the top assistant at Hillsdale College in 1989 before going to Albion College, where he was the top assistant and junior varsity head coach, for two years. He started in the high school ranks, serving as assistant varsity and head freshman coach at Lincoln High in Ypsilanti, Mich., in 1988.
An all-state performer at Catholic Central High in Detroit, he is married to the former Ramona Webb and they have two sons, Jordan, nine, and Joshua, seven.
Heath, the 10th coach in Arkansas' 79-year history, takes over for Nolan Richardson, who had the remaining six years of his contract bought-out by the university on March 1.
HEAD COACH STAN HEATH (bio)
Following a record-setting first season as the head coach at Kent State University, Stan Heath became the 10th head basketball coach at the University of Arkansas on March 28.
After spending five seasons under head coach Tom Izzo as an assistant at Michigan State, and advancing to the Final Four three straight years with a national championship in 2000, Heath took his first head coaching position at KSU.
Under his guidance, the Golden Flashes went 30-6, won the Mid-American Conference regular season and tournament titles, and reached the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament before falling to Indiana in the South Region finals.
Along the way, Kent set school and MAC records for wins (30), breaking the record of 29 set by Ball State in 1989; became the first MAC team to reach the Elite Eight since Ohio University in 1964; recorded a league-record 21-game winning streak, including a 17-1 mark in conference play; beat three ranked teams in the NCAA Tournament, including No. 20 Oklahoma State, 69-61, No. 8 Alabama, 71-58, and No. 9 Pittsburgh, 78-73 in overtime, before losing to Indiana, 81-69; went 12-0 at home with an average attendance of 4,928, Kent's best since 1970; led the MAC in scoring defense (64.0 ppg), scoring margin (+11.9 ppg), field goal percentage defense (.418), rebounding margin (+5.0 rpg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.24) while also ranking second in three-point field goal percentage defense (.326) and turnover margin (+2.78); and suffered its five regular season losses by a total of 15 points.
Individually, Heath's 30 wins ties for the third-most by a first-year head coach in NCAA Division I history with John Warren of Oregon (1945). Only Bill Guthridge of North Carolina (34 in 1998) and Bill Hodges of Indiana State (33 in 1979) won more. The Detroit native was also voted the MAC Coach of the Year and named the national Rookie Coach of the Year by both CollegeInsider.com and Sportsline.com.
Before going to Kent, the three-year letterman from Eastern Michigan helped Izzo and the Spartans post records of 17-12 in 1997, 22-8 in 1998, 33-5 in 1999, 32-7 in 2000 and 28-5 in 2001. In addition to the three trips to the Final Four, MSU also reached the Sweet 16 in 1998 and the second round of the NIT in 1997.
Heath, who earned his bachelor's in social science from Eastern Michigan in 1988 and his master's in sports administration from Wayne State (Detroit, Mich.) University in 1993, began his collegiate career at Hillsdale (Mich.) College in 1989 as an assistant. After one season, he moved to Albion (Mich.) College where he was an assistant and the junior varsity head coach for two years. He worked at Wayne State in Detroit the following three years, including serving as associate head coach in 1994 when WSU set a school record for victories (25-5), helping the Tartars win two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles with a trip to the Division II Final Four in 1993.
After two seasons as an assistant at Bowling Green State University, he joined Izzo at Michigan State. He began his coaching career on the prep level, working as assistant varsity and head freshman coach at Lincoln High in Ypsilanti, Mich.
An all-state performer at Catholic Central High in Detroit, he lettered in 1985, '86 and '87 at Eastern Michigan.
He is married to the former Ramona Webb and they have two sons, Jordan (nine) and Joshua (seven).
Stan Heath Quick Facts
Born: Dec. 17, 1964 (37)
Family: wife Ramona (Webb); boys Jordan (nine) and Joshua (seven).
Head Coaching Record: 30-6 (one year)
Coaching Honors: MAC Coach of the Year; CollegeInsider.com and Sportsline.com national Rookie Coach of the Year
Named Head Coach at Arkansas: March 28, 2002
Years of Collegiate Coaching Experience: 14
Education: Catholic Central High (Detroit, 1983); Eastern Michigan (Ypsilanti) University - bachelor's in social science (1988); Wayne State (Detroit) University - master's in sports administration (1993)
Coaching History: 1988 - Lincoln High (Ypsilanti, Mich.) - assistant, head freshman coach; 1989 - Hillsdale (Mich.) College - assistant; 1990-91 - Albion (Mich.) College, assistant and junior varsity head coach; 1992-93 - Wayne State (Detroit, Mich.) University - assistant; 1994 - Wayne State (Detroit, Mich.) University - associate head coach; 1995-96 - Bowling Green State (Ohio) University - assistant; 1997-01 - Michigan State (East Lansing) University - assistant; 2002 - Kent State (Ohio) University - head coach
Player History: 1984-87 Eastern Michigan, three-year letterman
Season Records and Postseason Experience:
As a Player at EMU: 1984 (12-17), 1985 (15-13), 1986 (9-18), 1987 (14-15)
As a Collegiate Coach: at Hillsdale, 1989 (11-18); at Albion, 1990 (13-11), 1991 (12-13); at Wayne State, 1992 (23-8, second round of NCAA Division II playoffs), 1993 (22-10, won Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title, Final Four), 1994 (25-5, won GLIAC title, regional finals); at Bowling Green, 1995 (16-11), 1996 (14-13); at Michigan State, 1997 (17-12, second round of NIT), 1998 (22-8, Sweet 16), 1999 (33-5, Final Four); 2000 (32-7, NCAA champion), 2001 (28-5, Final Four); at Kent State, 2002 (30-6, Elite Eight, South Region final).