According to multiple reports on Thursday, Missouri coach Frank Haith has verbally accepted an offer to become the head basketball coach at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma.
Tulsa World had reported that Haith is a “very solid front-runner” and was expected to meet with Tulsa President Steadman Upham and athletic and athletic director Derrick Gragg. A short time later ESPN and CBSsports learned he has verbally accepted an offer to join Tulsa.
Jeff Goodman reported that a source told ESPN Tulsa is in the “final negotiations to hire Haith, barring a last-minute collapse in talks.”
Gary Parrish at CBS reported a source stated, “Frank is looking for a way out at Missouri. This might be it.”
According to Frank Cusumano of KSDK in St. Louis, Haith called a team meeting with players at 2:45pm. Gabe DeArmond of Power Mizzou reported that Frank Haith did not tell his players he was leaving.
A flight is scheduled to leave Columbia Regional Airport at 3:25pm and land in Tulsa at 4:10 pm.
Haith completed his third season of a six-year contract at Missouri, which ends in April 2017. Should Haith leave his contract included a $500,000 buyout, which he would have to pay the university for leaving early.
Tulsa is seeking a coach to replace Danny Manning who accepted a position at Wake Forest. The Golden Hurricanes made their first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2003 this past season.
Haith has compiled a record of 76-28 in three years with the Tigers and was the fastest head coach to reach 50 wins. The Tigers were first-round exits in the NCAA tournament in Haith’s first two seasons and recently appeared in the National Invitational Tournament.
Neither the athletic departments at Missouri or Tulsa have commented or confirmed any reports on the situation.