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UM hires basketball coach


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And he's a Wake Forest (everyone's second favorite team in the ACC) alum too.

Maybe he can do more with that talent Florida State has been hoarding.



Frank Haith, associate head basketball coach at the University of Texas, is a few signatures away from becoming the new University of Miami head coach.


UM athletic director Paul Dee confirmed Saturday night that Haith had been offered a contract, that they were ''working out the details,'' and that, barring any unforeseen hurdles, he could name Haith the coach as early as Monday.


''It would be premature to say it's a done deal,'' Dee said. ``We're not there yet, but things are moving in that direction. We'll talk again (today), but nothing official will happen on Easter Sunday. Monday is more likely.''


Haith spent Friday and Saturday on campus, flew back to Austin on Saturday night to go over the contract with his lawyer, and is expected back in Coral Gables Monday for the announcement. He is believed to have been offered a five-year contract with a salary of $300,000 to $400,000 per year.


Haith was one of five candidates interviewed for the job, and the only one who visited campus. The job became vacant when Perry Clark was fired with three years remaining on his seven-year contract. The other candidates were Bobby Gonzalez of Manhattan, Kansas associate head coach Norm Roberts, Alabama-Birmingham head coach Mike Anderson and Virginia Commonwealth head coach Jeff Capel.


Anderson and Capel withdrew their names from consideration on Thursday after receiving substantial raises from their schools. Dee made it clear from the start that UM was on a budget because of its heavy load of bills -- $2 million ACC entrance fee, $1 million Big East exit fee, $2.25 million Clark buyout, and legal fees from the Big East lawsuit.


Haith, 38, worked four years under Dave Odom at Wake Forest, and also was a graduate assistant at Wake Forest after graduating from Elon College in 1988. His ties to the ACC gave him the edge over the other finalists, according to several sources. UM is entering the ACC this season.


''I guess Miami decided to go in a different direction, with Frank Haith,'' said Gonzalez. ``I think his ties to Wake and the ACC probably had something to do with it. I had a great interview with Paul Dee and respect his decision. That is a great program down there, and I want everyone there to know I never tried to rush UM into any decision or any of the other false reports that have come out on the Internet.''


Haith, assuming he accepts the job, will take over a Hurricanes program that advanced to the Sweet 16 four years ago, but had slipped to 25-33 over the past two seasons. The Hurricanes were 14-16 last season, including a late-season 10-game losing streak, and did not qualify for the Big East tournament for the first time in the school's 11 years in the league.


Dee deliberated for three weeks over whether to retain Clark or fire him, and finally decided to start anew, saying he was disturbed by the number of close games UM lost and an apparent lack of fire in the team. He stressed he wanted a new coach who would ''energize'' the program as it heads into the ACC.


Haith was Rick Barnes' trusted aide as the Longhorns advanced to the Sweet 16 twice (2002, '04) and the Final Four once ('03) over the past three years. He was responsible for recruiting three McDonald's All-Americans to the team, and got much of the credit for Wake Forest's top recruits when he worked there.


Haith was a candidate for the SMU job this spring, but took his name out of the running.

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i see we cheaped out on the head coach search.

I heard elsewhere they offered Bobby Gonzalez 250K.


UM's AD must be busting the bank with the conference changes, buying out Clark's contract and those haypennies they're giving to renovate the Orange Bowl.

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