Stanley Heath III (born December 17 1964) is the head men's basketball coach at the University of South Florida Bulls (located in Tampa, Florida). Heath is the former head basketball coach of the University of Arkansas (also known as the Arkansas Razorbacks) in Fayetteville, Arkansas and Kent State University, whom he led to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Basketball Tournament in 2002.
Heath is married to the former Ramona Webb (whom he met during his junior year at Eastern Michigan) and they have two sons, Jordan and Joshua.
After two seasons as an assistant at Bowling Green State University, he joined Tom Izzo at Michigan State where he was an assistant for five years. He helped the Spartans advance to the Final Four three straight years (1999, 2000, 2001), win the 2000 national title, make another appearance in the Sweet 16 and go a combined 132-37. The Spartans posted records of 17-12 in 1997, 22-8 in 1998, 33-5 in 1999, 32-7 in 2000 and 28-5 in 2001. In addition to the three trips to the Final Four, MSU also reached the Sweet 16 in 1998 and the second round of the NIT in 1997.
On March 19 2001, Sports Illustrated featured “five college coaches waiting in the wings.” Heath was on that list, along with assistant Leonard Perry of Iowa State, Florida assistant John Pelphrey, head coach Jeff Ruland of Iona and Hofstra assistant Jay Wright. A month after that, he was named the head coach at Kent State.
Along the way, Kent set school and MAC records for wins (30), breaking the record of 29 set by Ball State in 1989; became the first MAC team to reach the Elite Eight since Ohio University in 1964; recorded a league-record 21-game winning streak, including a 17-1 mark in conference play; beat three ranked teams in the NCAA Tournament, including No. 20 Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, 69-61, No. 8 University of Alabama, 71-58, and No. 9 University of Pittsburgh, 78-73 in overtime, before losing to Indiana, 81-69; went 12-0 at home with an average attendance of 4,928, Kent’s best since 1970; led the MAC in scoring defense (64.0 ppg), scoring margin (+11.9 ppg), field goal percentage defense (.418), rebounding margin (+5.0 rpg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.24) while also ranking second in three-point field goal percentage defense (.326) and turnover margin (+2.78); and suffered its five regular season losses by a total of 15 points.
Individually, Heath’s 30 wins ties for the third-most by a first-year head coach in NCAA Division I history with John Warren of Oregon (1945). Only Bill Guthridge of North Carolina (34 in 1998) and Bill Hodges of Indiana State (33 in 1979) won more. The Detroit native was also voted the MAC Coach of the Year and named the national Rookie Coach of the Year by both CBSSportsline.com and CollegeInsider.com.
The 2003 season (2002-2003), Heath's first as Razorback head coach, was a difficult one. With key players having left the team, as well as the normal adjustments to a new system, the team struggled to a 9-19 record.
The 2004 season (2003-2004) saw some improvement to key areas, as well as the addition of key freshmen Parade All-American Ronnie Brewer and McDonald's All-American Olu Famutimi, who contributed to a 12-16 record. The team was the 8th youngest in the NCAA.
The 2005 season (2004-2005) showed marked improvement in almost every area, most notably in the front court, with the addition of Steven Hill, Darian Townes, and Charles Thomas. The jewel of the recruiting class, Al Jefferson, never made it to Arkansas as he was selected in the NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics. At the conclusion of the 2005 season, Heath spoke for the team in announcing they would not accept an invitation to the NIT end of year basketball tournament. This followed an end of year slide which resulted in the loss of 5 of the last 6 games. The team finished with an 18-12 overall record.
The 2006 season (2005-2006) began with a key win over University of Kansas, and respectable losses to national powers Connecticut and Maryland. The end of conference play brought on wins over ranked opponents Florida and Tennessee, five straight wins, and a winning regular season conference record for the first time for Heath at Arkansas. The Razorbacks received an NCAA tournament bid for the first time under Heath, but lost in the first round to Bucknell. At the end of the 2005-2006 season as coach, Arkansas had improved (winning percentage, post season play, conference record) in each of the four full seasons he has coached.
The 2007 season (2006-2007) began by winning the Old Spice Classic inaugural tournament with wins over Southern Illinois, Marist, and West Virginia. The team made it to the SEC Championship Game with victories over South Carolina, Mississippi State, and Vanderbilt. The Razorbacks would lose to Florida in the championship game 77-56 but still received an at large bid to the 2007 NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row. The Razorbacks received a 12th seed but lost in the first round against 5th seeded Southern California with the final score of 77-60. On March 26, 2007, Heath's coaching career at Arkansas ended. It was reported that Heath would get a settlement of $900,000 dollars over the next three years after being fired. Heath had been earning $772,943 (including media contract, endorsements, etc.) plus an additional $71,000 tax deferred annuity and UA retirement account.
|Season||Home Record||Home Winning Percentage||Regular Season Conference Record||Regular Season Conference Winning Percentage||Overall Record||Overall Winning Percentage||Postseason / Notes|
|2001-2002 Kent State||11 wins, 0 losses||100%||17 wins, 1 losses||94.4%||30 wins, 6 losses||83.3 %||Won Conference regular season and tournament titles; Elite 8 finish in NCAA Tournament|
|2002-2003 Arkansas||8 wins, 8 losses||50.0%||4 wins, 12 losses||25.0%||9 wins, 19 losses||32.1 %||Widely seen as rebuilding year after controversial firing of Nolan Richardson|
|2003-2004 Arkansas||10 wins, 6 losses||62.5%||4 wins, 12 losses||25.0%||12 wins, 16 losses||42.9%||8th youngest team in NCAA; Widely seen as improved, but still rebuilding|
|2004-2005 Arkansas||13 wins, 3 losses||81.3%||6 wins, 10 losses||37.5%||18 wins, 12 losses||60.0%||Turned down end of year NIT bid.|
|2005-2006 Arkansas||15 wins, 1 loss||93.8%||10 wins, 6 losses||62.5%||22 wins, 10 losses||68.8%||Winning SEC record; Won last 5 SEC season games; NCAA Tournament bid, lost in 1st round|
|2006-2007 Arkansas||13 wins, 3 losses||81.3%||7 wins, 9 losses||43.7%||21 wins, 14 losses||60.0%||Made to SEC Championship Game; NCAA Tournament bid, lost in 1st round|
|2007-2008 South Florida||3 wins, 15 losses||12 wins, 19 losses||A rebuilding year with many young and inexperienced players|
|Totals||70 wins, 21 losses||76.9%||48 wins, 50 losses||49.0%||112 wins, 77 losses||59.3%|