Gordon: Haith heads for the hills!

Gordon: Haith heads for the hills! Live

Mizzou fans didn't want Frank Haith as their basketball coach. They didn't support him.

And now many of them are happy that he is gone, off to replace Danny Manning at Tulsa.

The Tigers won 76 games on his watch, won a Big 12 Tournament title, earned two NCAA berths and went to the NIT this season. Haith earned a national coach of the year award during his first year at the helm.

That's not a bad three years, on balance, but Haith didn't feel much love in Boone County.

He was an unpopular hire. He failed to build equity when he had the chance, losing to Norfolk State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament after a 30-victory season.

The eternal University of Miami investigation wore on him, his program and Mizzou fans. He dodged major sanctions, but the damage was done.

The Tigers won 23 games this season, but a couple of especially bad losses kept them out of the NCAA Tournament. Three of his players got arrested and one, Zach Price, got booted from the program after getting pinched twice.

With star players Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown headed to pro ranks, MU faced a rebuilding year. Haith was lining up a solid recruiting class for the coming year, but his public stock was trading low.

The Haithers were out to get him. And he is gone, following the lead of Cuonzo Martin -- who escaped Tennessee for California after three years of fan abuse.

So now what?

Top Mizzou recruits
JaKeenan Gant and Namon Wright might ask out of their letters of intent. JUCO all-America guard Kevin Punter has already bailed on his commitment.

MU will either buck up for a big-time coach -- hoping fans will return to Mizzou Arena and make that pay off -- or Mike Alden will have to land up-and-comer and hope he's not another Quin Snyder.

A great coach with a great job elsewhere will want a LOT of money to come to a school where 25  victories a year is considered utterly unacceptable.

Some fans will clamor for Kim Anderson, a True Son who won the Division II title at Central Missouri. Some fans still covet Matt Painter despite his recent struggles at Purdue.

As for Haith, he takes a big step back in his career. But he trades the higher profile for additional job security and less booster hate.

Here is how the Twitterverse reacted:


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