MU introduces Haith to fans

The Maneater published this article on April 5, 2011

Head men's basketball coach Frank Haith speaks to the media and members of the MU administration on Tuesday morning at Mizzou Arena. Haith laid out his goals for his new team and expressed excitement for being chosen as the new head coach. (Photo: Nick Agro/Senior Staff Photographer)

The Frank Haith Era has officially begun at MU. Haith, who was officially named Missouri’s men’s basketball coach Monday night, was introduced to the public at a news conference Tuesday morning.

“It’s truly an honor to be here with you today,” Haith said. “I feel like I’m the luckiest man in the world. I have felt the passion already and that’s why I’m here.”

In his first meeting with the players early Tuesday morning, Haith stressed the importance of family and relationships.

“Yesterday was the toughest day I’ve had, because I had to tell those guys in Miami that I was no longer going to be their coach,” Haith said. “So, I know what [the Missouri players] felt when Mike [Anderson] told them that he was leaving for Arkansas. But I told them, I’m not going to be Mike Anderson, I’m going to be Frank Haith.”

Haith also told the players that he intends to pick up where Mike Anderson left off in terms of building the program, but that they have to buy into his system to be successful.

“What he did here for five years, he’s taken this program to be very competitive nationally,” Haith said. “We have great, great people along with really good players. We will win here. We will win big and that was expressed in that meeting this morning with these guys. We want to win and we want to win big. We talked about how that happens, the commitment they have to make, and I think they understand that.”

With a record of 129-101 at Miami over his seven seasons at head coach, Haith’s hiring drew some harsh criticism. Despite the backlash from many of the fans, Haith said he was actually encouraged by their reaction.

“I don’t look at the negativity I’m hearing so far as a negative, I look at it as a positive because that’s why I’m here,” Haith said. “That’s what I want. I want that passion because I want to win. I want to cut down nets. I am not taking it the way you think I should take it. I take it as a positive. I’m excited about doing that here. I’m excited about what we have here to get that done.”

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