Heath Tabbed as New Kent State Boss

Updated 12/17/1964
KENT STATE NAMES STAN HEATH HEAD MEN’S BASKETBALL COACH Former Michigan State assistant to guide Golden Flashes

KENT, Ohio — Stan Heath, who helped lead Michigan State University to a national championship and three consecutive berths in the NCAA Final Four as an assistant coach, has been named the 20th head men’s basketball coach in Kent State University history, KSU Director of Athletics Laing Kennedy announced April 19.

Heath, 36, spent the past five seasons under Michigan State mentor Tom Izzo, establishing MSU as one of the nation’s preeminent basketball programs. The Spartans won the 2000 NCAA Division I national championship and have captured four consecutive Big Ten Conference regular-season titles. In addition, Heath helped direct MSU to Big Ten Tournament crowns in 1999 and 2000. During his tenure at the East Lansing school, the Spartans posted a record of 132-37, including a 115-25 mark in the past four seasons. Michigan State advanced to the Final Four and won at least 28 games each of the past three years, highlighted by a school-record 33 in 1998-99 and 32 in 1999-2000.

Heath, who has signed a five-year contract, replaces Gary Waters who accepted the head coaching position at Rutgers University April 6 following five seasons at Kent State.

“I am very pleased that Stan has accepted the opportunity to become our head men’s basketball coach,” said Kennedy. “He brings a proven track record of coaching at the highest intercollegiate level in being part of a national championship program at Michigan State while also having deep roots in the Mid-American Conference.”

Heath assumes the reigns of a Kent State program that has posted a record of 70-25 and advanced to national postseason tournaments each of the past three seasons. The 2000-01 Golden Flashes won the school’s first MAC East Division championship, captured the second MAC Tournament title in the past three years, and defeated Indiana University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Along the way, the Flashes established a school record with 24 victories, surpassing the 23 games won each of the previous two seasons.

“I’m excited and looking forward to the challenges at Kent State University,” Heath said. “I feel like this is an excellent fit for me as well as the returning teammembers and the future of Kent State basketball.”

While at Michigan State, Heath coached some of college basketball’s most decorated players. Jason Richardson and Charlie Bell earned All-America honors this past season, while Morris Peterson and Mateen Cleaves were All-Americans and NBA first-round draft picks in 2000. Heath also recruited four McDonald’s High School All-Americans to Michigan State — Richardson, Marcus Taylor, Zach Randolph and Kelvin Torbert.

Prior to going to Michigan State, Heath was an assistant coach at Bowling Green State University in the MAC during the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons under current George Mason University head coach Jim Larranaga.

>From 1991-94 Heath was an assistant coach at Wayne State (Mich.) University for three highly successful seasons. The Tartars qualified for the NCAA Division II regional final each of his three years at the Detroit school and advanced to the national semifinals in 1993. They also won two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular-season championships and one league tournament title while posting a record of 70-23. He was promoted to associate head coach for the 1993-94 season when Wayne State set a school record with 25 victories (25-5), including a 17-game winning streak.

Heath began his collegiate coaching career as the top assistant at Hillsdale College during the 1988-89 season before spending two years at Albion College, where he was the top assistant and the junior varsity head coach. He previously was the assistant varsity and head freshman coach at Lincoln High School in Ypsilanti, Mich., in the 1987-88 campaign.

A native of Detroit, Heath played collegiate basketball at Eastern Michigan University from 1983-87, earning varsity letters each of his last three seasons. He also received all-state honors as a prep at Catholic Central High School in Detroit.

Heath earned a bachelor’s degree in social science form Eastern Michigan in 1988 and went on to receive a master’s degree in sports administration from Wayne State in 1993.

He is married to the former Ramona Webb, and the couple has two children, Jordan (9) and Joshua (6).

The Stan Heath File

Personal Information Full Name: Stanley Heath III Birthdate: Dec. 17, 1964 (36 years old) Hometown: Detroit, Mich. Education: Bachelor of Sciences (social science), Eastern Michigan University 1988; Master of Education (sports administration), Wayne State (Mich.) University 1993 Wife: Married to the former Ramona Webb Children: Jordan (9), Joshua (6)

Collegiate Coaching Information Year School Position Record Championships/Highlights 2000-01 Michigan State Assistant Coach 28-5 NCAA Final Four appearance, Big Ten champions, 44-game home winning streak 1999-2000 Michigan State Assistant Coach 32-7 NCAA national champions, Big Ten champions, Big Ten Tournament champions 1998-99 Michigan State Assistant Coach 33-5 NCAA Final Four appearance, Big Ten champions, Big Ten Tournament champions, school-record 33 wins 1997-98 Michigan State Assistant Coach 22-8 Big Ten champions, NCAA Sweet 16 appearance 1996-97 Michigan State Assistant Coach 17-12 NIT second-round appearance 1995-96 Bowling Green Assistant Coach 14-13 1994-95 Bowling Green Assistant Coach 16-11 1993-94 Wayne State Assoc. Head Coach 25-5 NCAA regional finalist, GLIAC champions, school-record 25 wins 1992-93 Wayne State Assistant Coach 22-10 NCAA semifinalist, GLIAC Tournament champions 1991-92 Wayne State Assistant Coach 23-8 NCAA regional finalist, GLIAC champions 1990-91 Albion Assistant Coach 12-13 1989-90 Albion Assistant Coach 13-11 1988-89 Hillsdale Assistant Coach 11-18

What They’re Saying About Stan Heath ...

Tom Izzo, Michigan State head coach “There’s no question Stan is ready for this job. In his five years at Michigan State, he’s helped us go from start to finish with three Final Four appearances and one national championship. We’ve built it and maintained it, and he’s been a big part of that on the court and on the recruiting trail. I’m from the Jud Heathcote school where assistant coaches have to do a lot of things. I make the final decision but they’ve had suggestive powers. Stan related well with the kids, and you won’t find a guy who’s more loyal. Most importantly, he’s not afraid to work. Gary Waters did an incredible job. Now it’s Stan’s job to maintain and build upon that, and he’s been part of the blueprint of how we’ve done it here. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the job Stan did.”

Andy Katz, ESPN.com College Basketball Writer “Stan has done a tremendous job of networking around the country both at the recruiting, coaching and media level. Kent State found a gem in Stan. He’s as personable a coach as any in the Mid-American Conference and is a natural in his comfort zone of the Midwest. Gary Waters got Kent State to the NCAA second round, leaving a high-water mark for Stan. But he is up to the challenge of keeping the Flashes near or atop the MAC.”

Dan Wetzel, Sportsline.com Senior Writer “Kent State just hired a plain and simple winner in Stan Heath. This is a guy who brings great energy, integrity and skill to the job. He was instrumental in helping Michigan State become one of the nation’s dominant programs in the country the last three seasons. With Stan’s Midwest recruiting ties and obvious bench skills, I would expect Kent State to remain a team to beat in the Mid-American Conference and a dangerous program on the national stage. As a person and a leader, he should be extremely popular both on campus and in the local community. This is a terrific hire at a critical juncture for Kent State.”

Jay Bilas, ESPN College Basketball Commentator “Stan is one of the bright young coaches in America. He was very well schooled under Tom Izzo and that was obvious in the amount of time (Izzo) relied upon him for both bench and floor coaching. He is a great hire for Kent State. You’re going to hear Stan’s name a lot the next couple of years.”

Seth Davis, Sports Illustrated College Basketball Writer “Stan is a great hire for Kent State, it’s a perfect match. He’s bright, talented and ambitious. Plus he has very high character, and he knows how to win.”

Sports Illustrated says ... In the March 19 issue of Sports Illustrated, Heath was recognized as one of “five college coaches waiting in the wings” along with Iowa State assistant (now Idaho head coach) Leonard Perry, Florida assistant John Pelphrey, Iona head coach Jeff Ruland and Hofstra (now Villanova) head coach Jay Wright.