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EMU hires alum Stan Heath as new coach

Stan Heath is returning home to Eastern Michigan as the next head men’s basketball coach. EMU AD Scott Wetherbee announced the news in a statement on the school’s website.

“We are so thrilled to welcome back Stan Heath as our new head men’s basketball coach,” said Wetherbee. 

“One of the key messages I heard throughout the search process was the desire to find someone with Eastern Michigan connections as well as someone with a strong head coaching pedigree. In hiring Coach Heath, we absolutely have that person. He is a proven winner in both the collegiate and professional ranks, and his focus on positively impacting the lives of our student-athletes is infectious. We cannot wait to have him and his family back on campus and reintroducing them to the Eastern Michigan family.”

Like Wetherbee, Heath is excited for his return to his alma mater.

“I’m thrilled to return to my alma mater as the head men’s basketball coach,” Heath remarked. 

“I appreciate the opportunity that has been given to me by President Smith and our Athletic Director Scott Wetherbee to lead this program. Eastern Michigan is a special place for me and my family. I look forward to working with our student-athletes and implementing a style and systems that excites our students, community, and alumni. Our goal is to win Mid-American Conference championships and be a perennial NCAA team.”

As mentioned above, Heath, 56, is no stranger to Eastern Michigan. 

After his days at Detroit Catholic Central, the former all-state guard took his talents to Eastern Michigan.

Although EMU redshirted him in his freshman year, he lettered his final three years playing for the Eagles (1984-1987). 

Several years after his playing career was complete, Heath began his coaching journey. From 1988-2001, he had several assistant coach stints at Hillsdale, Albion, Wayne State, Bowling Green, and Michigan State. In 2001, Kent State gave Heath his first crack as head coach, giving him the keys to their men’s basketball program.

And it was the right move.

In his lone season at Kent State, Heath guided the Golden Flashes to a 30-6 record. Those efforts led to a MAC regular season & tournament championship. Additionally, Heath earned MAC coach of the year honors as well.

After leaving Kent State, Heath accepted the head coach position at Arkansas, where he coached from 2002-2007. He led the Razorbacks to the NCAA tournament in his two seasons. Despite the moderate success, Arkansas parted ways with Heath in 2007

Heath then accepted a five-year deal to coach at South Florida. 

While at South Florida, Heath earned Big East coach of the year honors (2012) after guiding them to a 22-13 season. 

Heath is coming back to EMU after spending the last several years in the NBA G League.

Heath coached the Lakeland Magic, G League affiliate to the Orlando Magic from 2017 until now. In, he guided them to the 2021 NBA G League Championship. Additionally, he won the 2020-2021 NBA G League coach of the year honors as well. 

Mar 11, 2021; Orlando, Florida, USA; Lakeland Magic head coach Stan Heath hoists the championship trophy after defeating the Delaware Blue Coats in the NBA G League Final at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

EMU will formally announce Heath on Tuesday, April 13th at 10:30 am press conference at the school’s Convocation Center.

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