Men's Basketball Coaching Staff
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Stan Heath, whose 12-year head coaching career at the collegiate level has already included four NCAA tournament appearances and one NIT appearance, is building something special at the University of South Florida.
And no season was more special than the 2011-12 campaign, where Heath led the Bulls to their first NCAA Tournament in 20 years, tied the school record for wins in a season (22) and set the school record for conference wins in a season (12). He was named the BIG EAST Coach of the Year and helped USF get its first ever-wins in the NCAA Championship as the Bulls advanced to the third round and fell one game shy of advancing to the Sweet 16. Heath led USF to its second 20-win season and second postseason appareance in the last three years. USF also advanced to the BIG EAST Quarterfinals for the first time in program history while sweeping all three of its mirror teams during the season for the first time.
The Bulls also set the school record for scoring defense, holding opponents to a stiflying 56.6 points per game. Their scoring defense during 18 league contests (56.9 points per game) was a BIG EAST record as well. Heath’s team won five conference road games, their most ever, including a signature win at No. 18 Louisville.
In his third season in Tampa, Heath led the Bulls to USF’s third 20-win season ever with a 20-13 record, and returned to the postseason for the first time since 2002 as the Bulls hosted NC State in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament. The Bulls also earned their first win in the BIG EAST Championship and registered the school’s best regular season BIG EAST record with nine wins, more than doubling the previous season’s four.
For his efforts in turning around the USF program after just three seasons, Heath was rewarded with a contract extension on June 30, 2010. The University of South Florida and Director of Athletics Doug Woolard signed Heath to an extension that keeps him with USF through 2015.
During the next season, Heath and the Bulls battled a pair of 2011 NCAA Final Four teams to overtime, defeating Virginia Commonwealth, 60-59 in Tampa and coming up short, 66-61, to National Champion UConn in Hartford. The Bulls also took Sweet 16 team BYU to double overtime (77-75) and just lost by one point, 59-58, to Sweet 16 Marquette. USF ended the season with the 17th strongest schedule in the country, according to CollegeRPI.com.
The 2010-11 season was highlighted in the first round of the BIG EAST Basketball Championship, when No. 15-seed USF overcame a 16-point first-half deficit to upset No. 10-seed Villanova, 70-69. The Bulls trailed 49-33 at halftime, making the 16-point comeback the largest halftime deficit overcome in BIG EAST Championship history. It was also USF’s first victory over Villanova and USF’s second-straight first-round win in the tournament.
USF led the conference in free throw shooting in 2010-11, hitting 74.3 percent (248-334) in BIG EAST play. The Bulls’ best night was an 88.9 percent (8-of-9) night against No. 9 Georgetown. Against DePaul on Jan. 27, the Bulls hit 12-of-12 in the first half and finished the night 17-of-21. The Bulls shot better than 70 percent in all but four league games that year.
The excitement of the 2009-10 season began to hit new heights when USF registered back-to-back victories over ranked teams against No. 17 Pittsburgh (Jan. 31) and at No. 7 Georgetown (Feb. 3). The win over the Hoyas was USF’s first-ever road win over a Top 10 team.
On Jan. 23 in Rhode Island, Heath and the Bulls defeated Providence 109-105 in overtime for the first road victory of the season, which sparked a four-game BIG EAST winning streak: at Providence, Seton Hall, No. 17 Pittsburgh and at No. 7 Georgetown. During the four-game winning streak, USF earned national recognition, receiving votes in the Feb. 8 Associated Press Poll. USF had feature stories in national media as well, including Sports Illustrated, USA Today, SI.com and Sporting News, to name a few.
USF finished with three straight wins to end the regular season, including a road win at DePaul and a 75-68 win over UConn, which was an NCAA bubble team at the time.
USF won nine games away from the Sun Dome in 2009-10 (9-8), an enormous improvement over last season’s 2-15 mark. The Bulls won three league games on the road in 2009-10, and only one in 2008-09.
Under Heath’s tutelage, USF was led by an explosive junior guard named Dominique Jones, who ended the year as the only player in the country averaging at least 21.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. At Providence, he had 46 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists. He was a first team All-BIG EAST player, won the BIG EAST scoring title and was named to the AP Honorable Mention All-America Team.
After completing his 24th season of coaching, 10th as a head coach and fourth at USF, Heath has posted a 163-154 overall mark and is 51-77 at USF. Heath was 20-13 in 2009-10 after going 21-41 in his first two seasons at USF.
In his second season at USF, Heath led the Bulls to their most BIG EAST wins (at the time) in 2008-09 and engineered the school’s first victory against a top-10 ranked team. The Bulls posted a 7-7 record at home, highlighted by a 57-56 win on Feb. 6, 2009 against No. 8 Marquette, ending a 32-game losing streak to teams ranked in the top 10.
Heath was named USF head coach on April 3, 2007 - marking the official start to a new era in the program’s history.
In his five seasons in Tampa, Heath has guided two players to All-BIG EAST honors, including first-team selection Kentrell Gransberry in 2007-08 and record-setting guard Dominique Jones, who captured first team honors his junior season and honorable mention laurels as a freshman and sophomore after being a unanimous pick on the All-Rookie Team.
Heath, 46, arrived at USF after serving as head coach at the University of Arkansas for five seasons. While with the Razorbacks, Heath guided the program to a pair of NCAA tournament appearances (2006, 2007) and an overall record of 82-71. UA posted 20-win campaigns in each of his final two seasons, and 2006-07 was highlighted by a run to the championship game of the SEC tournament and subsequent participation in the NCAAs.
An outstanding recruiter throughout his career, Heath’s signing classes have gained national recognition in recent years. National media outlets ranked his efforts among the top 15 in the country in 2003, 2004 and 2006. In his nine years (Arkansas, Kent State and USF) as a head coach, he has directed a total of nine players to all-league accolades and his rosters have featured a pair of freshman All-Americans, two conference defensive players of the year, one sixth man of the year and two NBA players, including one lottery pick.
Prior to Arkansas, Heath guided Kent State to a record-setting 2001-02 campaign in his first year as a head coach at the collegiate level. The Golden Flashes claimed the Mid-American Conference regular season and tournament titles en route to a 30-6 record and an appearance in the Elite Eight. KSU set a league record for wins that year, won 21 games in a row and defeated three nationally ranked opponents (No. 20 Oklahoma St., No. 8 Alabama, No. 9 Pittsburgh) during its historic postseason run.
While an assistant coach for five seasons (1996-97 - 2000-01) under Tom Izzo at Michigan State, Heath helped the Spartans develop into one of the top programs in all of college basketball. During his tenure, MSU advanced to the Final Four on three occasions (1999, 2000 and 2001), highlighted by the national championship in 2000. The Spartans compiled an overall record of 132-37 during his stay in East Lansing and also made one more Sweet 16 (1998) trip and participated in the National Invitation Tournament (1997).
The Detroit native has also made collegiate assistant coaching stops at Bowling Green State University (1994-95 - 1995-96), Wayne State University (1991-92 - 1993-94), Albion College (1989-90 - 1990-91) and Hillsdale College (1988-89). He began his coaching career at the prep level, working for one season (1987-88) at Lincoln High School in Ypsilanti, Mich.
A three-year letterwinner (1984-87) at Eastern Michigan University, Heath earned his bachelor’s degree in social science in 1988. He went on to complete his master’s work in sports administration in 1993 at Wayne State University.
Heath is married to the former Ramona Webb and the couple has two sons: Jordan and Joshua.