Arkansas Fires Head Basketball Coach Stan Heath - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Fayetteville - Will Carter Reports

Arkansas Fires Head Basketball Coach Stan Heath

March 26, 2007 - Updated at 6:15 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO-For University of Arkansas head coach Stan Heath the shot clock finally ran out.

"I think we all saw it coming. With the recruits he's pulled over the last three years he should have done a lot better," said Travis Kiech.

Monday morning Arkansas athletic director, Frank Broyles, met with Heath and informed him of the decision.

"They needed change. Just nothing was working for them," said Michael Hill.

Even though Arkansas made the NCAA Tournament in 2006 and 2007, the ball stopped bouncing each time in the first round.

"He was showing emotion. He never showed emotion in five years until the SEC tournament. You knew it was on his mind," said Buck Willie.

It wasn't just on his mind, but the mind of thousands of Arkansas fans throughout the state. It seemed it was only a matter of time until Heath walked off the court for good.

"I definitely think with the recruits that he's had, he should have had a little bit better record than he has over the last three years anyway," said Kiech.

"He don't play right. They don't play like him. I agree with the situation pretty much," said Willie.

And when the team doesn't play well together, it's time for something new. Heath joined Arkansas in 2002 after former coach Nolan Richardson was fired.

Arkansas' athletic director, Frank Broyles who is retiring at the end of the season, said the search for a replacement will begin immediately.

Story ideas or comment?  Email Will at wcarter@kait8.com.

 

*****The following is a portion of the press release from the University of Arkansas.

HEATH WILL NOT RETURN AS ARKANSAS HEAD BASKETBALL COACH

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles announced on Monday that men's basketball coach Stan Heath will not return to coach the Razorbacks in the 2007-08 season. Broyles informed Heath of his decision at a meeting on Monday.

"The decision to make a coaching change was difficult due to the respect I have for Stan Heath," Broyles said. "He represented the University of Arkansas with professionalism and integrity. I appreciate Coach Heath's efforts and his contributions to the program. However, in my professional judgment, it is best that the program move forward under new leadership in our efforts to return Razorback Basketball to national prominence and to compete consistently and successfully at the very highest levels."

Heath recently completed his fifth season as the head coach of Arkansas after being hired as the 13th coach in Razorback history on March 28, 2002. During his tenure with the Razorbacks, Heath compiled an overall record of 82-71 (.536), including a Southeastern Conference record of 31-49 (.388). Arkansas posted a 21-14 record this season and finished tied for third in the SEC's Western Division with a conference record of 7-9. The Razorbacks lost to Southern California in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Basketball Tournament.

Broyles said he would initiate a national search for a new head coach immediately. Due to the importance of confidentiality in the process, University officials will not comment publicly regarding the search or potential candidates.

"The University of Arkansas has a rich tradition of excellence in basketball," Broyles said. "These past successes and the tremendous fan support of our program have established the very highest standards and expectations for our program. We will work diligently to find the best candidate who will not only embrace our winning tradition but enhance it."

Stan Heath Year by Year Record

Year                            Overall                        SEC                 Postseason

2002-03                       9-19                             4-12                 None

2003-04                       12-16                           4-12                 None

2004-05                       18-12                           6-10                 None

2005-06                       22-10                           10-6                 NCAA First Round

2006-07                       21-14                           7-9                   NCAA First Round

Totals                          82-71                           31-49   

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