HERE IS THE STORY BY MICHELLE KAUFMAN AND ME THAT WE HAVE SO FAR ON HAITH...
The University of Miami is about to lose its men’s basketball coach.
Haith was in Houston for the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament, and was still in Houston Monday morning, waiting to fly back to Miami to address his team – per approval by Missouri. He has two years left on his Miami contract.
Reached in Houston by phone, Haith told The Miami Herald he had no comment.
Missouri, a member of the Big 12 conference, is a school with great basketball tradition, and that’s something that Haith always craved in Miami. The Hurricanes drew few fans, and do not have a big following in South Florida.
Missouri approached Haith, 45, according to one of the sources, and asked permission to talk to him. The Tigers have been in the last three NCAA tournaments. Former Tigers coach Mike Anderson left Missouri late last month to become coach at Arkansas.
Haith knows plenty about the Big 12. He was promoted to associate head coach by Rick Barnes at Texas in 2003-04 after also spending 2001-03 there as an assistant. From 1992-95 Haith served as an assistant at Texas A&M, then came back to A&M as associate head coach in 1996-97. His first season at Miami was 2004-05.
Haith is 129-101 in seven seasons with the Hurricanes, including a 43-69 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference. This year the Canes were 21-15 and competed in the NIT, losing to Alabama in a quarterfinal. UM went to one NCAA tourney under Haith in 2008, reaching the second round.
Tony Hernandez is the acting Miami athletic director, and along with UM president Donna Shalala and key members of the UM Board of Trustees, would make the decision for a new hire.
One source said that any new coach coming to Miami would need plenty of confidence, knowing that the returning players are good, but that fans would only come in big numbers for a winning program.
The Hurricanes athletic department has seen a whirlwind of change in the past several months. Football coach Randy Shannon was dismissed in November by former athletic director Kirby Hocutt. Hocutt recently resigned to become the Texas Tech athletic director. Hernandez is a candidate to replace Hocutt.
--SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN AND MICHELLE KAUFMAN