TAMPA, Fla. - Stan Heath’s stint without a job lasted one week.
The fired Arkansas basketball coach agreed Monday to a five-year contract to take over South Florida’s struggling program and try to transform the Bulls into a contender in the Big East. Including incentives, the deal is worth up to $4.275 million.
Heath, 42, will be introduced Tuesday at a news conference on the USF campus, said assistant athletic director John Gerdes. He replaces Robert McCullum, who was fired last month after losing 28 of 32 conference games in the school’s first two seasons in one of the nation’s toughest leagues.
USF athletic director Doug Woolard, who met with Heath during the Final Four in Atlanta, is counting on the new coach’s experience rebuilding Arkansas in the Southeastern Conference to benefit the Bulls.
Woolard’s three-week search included discussions with Winthrop’s Gregg Marshall and South Alabama’s John Pelphrey.
Heath was let go last week, despite compiling an 82-71 record in five seasons and taking Arkansas to the NCAA tournament each of the past two seasons. He inherits a program that was 40-76 in four seasons under McCullum, including 12-18 this winter.
The Bulls spent the first two years of McCullum’s tenure in Conference USA. They moved to the Big East in 2005 and lost their first 15 league games before beating Georgetown in the season finale.
USF won three league games this season, the highlight a home victory over then-No. 21 Notre Dame.
Heath has a reputation as a strong recruiter and his head coaching resume includes a trip to the round of eight in the NCAA tournament with Kent State in 2002. That appearance was a stepping stone to the Arkansas job.
The Razorbacks finished this season with a 21-14 record, losing 77-60 to Southern California in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
CBT: Turning the page on the Mike Rice scandal, Rutgers hired Louisville's Julie Hermann as athletic director on Wednesday. But, Hermann has a prior scandal of her own.
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