COLUMBIA, MO. - The Frank Haith era at Missouri is over. Mike Alden confirmed Friday the University of Missouri will begin searching for Frank Haith's replacement, after the former MU coach informed the school he will take a job at Tulsa.
Alden said Haith sent a text message Friday morning, informing Alden of his decision to take the Tulsa job. According to ESPN, Haith's new deal with Tulsa will last seven years and average $1.85 million.
According to Alden, Haith reached out to the athletic director on Thursday to talk about his interest in the Tulsa job. Haith flew down to Tulsa Thursday afternoon, before agreeing to a deal later that night.
Alden said Tim Fuller is the interim head coach. Alden said Bryan Tibaldi and Toby Lane will also help Fuller and the program until a new coach is in place."
"Everyone was just shocked," forward Ryan Rosburg said. "Everyone doesn't really know what to expect. That is the last thing I thought would happen today."
Rosburg, from Chesterfield, Mo., reinforced his support for the Missouri program.
"I've been a Mizzou fan my entire life. This morning, even with everything going on, I looked in my closet and I was proud to put on a Missouri shirt."
In Tulsa, Frank Haith was introduced as the 30th head coach in the program's history.
"This happened quickly," Haith said in his news conference in Tulsa. "These things do happen quick."
Haith added that he met with the team Thursday afternoon before he left for Tulsa. He explained to them that he would listen to Tulsa, then later inform them of his decision. According to Ryan Rosburg, Haith texted the team that he is leaving.
Haith said he will take strength and conditioning coach Tudor Pandov and assistant coach Dave Leitao with him to Tulsa.
One name rumored to be a replacement is former Missouri assistant Kim Anderson. The Central Missouri head coach won a Division-II national championship with the Mules this spring. But Alden would not get into specifics.
"I'm not going to discuss the candidates we'll be talking with at all," Alden said. "But I will say Kim Anderson has done a magnificent job at Central Missouri State. Congratulations to him on a national championship and all the great things he's done in coaching, but we won't discuss individual candidates today."
Alden did address several key attributes for his ideal coaching candidate. He said that Missouri ties are "can be a positive" and also said head coaching experience is important too.
"I think that's a characteristic you certainly have to pay close attention to," Alden said." I''ve seen a lot of associate head coaches and assistant head coaches in this business that have gone on and been great head coaches. Certainly that's a train that's an asset, but we don't have to limit the search to that."