- Andy Katz, ESPN.com Senior Writer
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Former Arkansas coach Stan Heath landed quite nicely after being fired just a week ago, getting the head coaching job at South Florida.
Heath agreed Monday to a five-year
contract to take over the 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 replaces Robert McCullum and jumps from being fired in the SEC to hired in the Big East, a week to the day he was let go in Fayetteville.
South Florida will hold a 3 p.m. ET news conference Tuesday in Tampa, the school announced Monday.
Heath leaves an Arkansas team that was 7-9 in the SEC, 21-14 overall and went to two straight NCAA Tournaments, including last month, losing to USC in the first round. He takes over a program that finished 3-13 in the Big East, 12-18 overall and hasn't made the Big East tournament in the past two seasons since moving over to Conference USA.
Heath was stunned that he was let go at Arkansas last week when athletic director Frank Broyles called him for a scheduled end-of-season meeting. Broyles tried to get Texas A&M's Billy Gillispie to replace Heath but apparently has settled on Creighton's Dana Altman.
South Florida athletic director Doug Woolard pursued Winthrop coach Gregg Marshall and flew him to Tampa after visiting with him in his home but was rebuffed.
He then made a play for ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla after also talking to South Alabama's John Pelphrey and former Virginia coach Pete Gillen. His next turn was to go after Kevin O'Neill, the former Marquette, Tennessee and Toronto Raptors' coach.
A source close to Woolard told ESPN.com on Saturday that O'Neill was close to being the coach but there could be a hiccup in the process. Later, ESPN.com learned that an offer wasn't tendered to O'Neill and that Woolard and Heath had clearly hit it off. Heath emerged as the leader in the last 24 hours and the deal was sealed.
Senior writer Andy Katz covers men's college basketball for ESPN.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Former Arkansas coach Stan Heath will be named the head coach at South Florida, a source close to the search told ESPN.com on Monday afternoon.