Former head coaches Stan Heath and Craig Robinson have joined ESPN as men’s college basketball analysts. They will call game telecasts on ESPNU, in addition to providing insight and analysis on the 24-hour college sports network’s studio programming.
The pair will debut during the annual College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. Heath will be the analyst on the Miami (Fla.) at preseason-ranked No. 9 Florida on Monday, Nov. 17, at 9 p.m. on ESPNU and Robinson will call the Iona at Wofford matchup on Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 7 a.m. on ESPN2.
“We are pleased to have Stan and Craig join ESPNU as they add credible voices to our college basketball coverage,” said Chris Farrow, ESPN coordinating producer. “They both have experience at the Division I coaching level, and their knowledge, insight and understanding of the game will make ESPN even better.”
“I am thrilled to join the ESPN college basketball team,” said Heath. “The opportunity to give insight on a game that I have been involved with for so long, is an experience I look forward to this season.”
An outstanding recruiter throughout his career, Heath’s signing classes gained national recognition by national media outlets ranking his efforts among the top 15 in 2003, 2004 and 2006. In his nine years (Arkansas, Kent State and USF) as a head coach, he directed a total of nine players to all-league accolades and his rosters featured a pair of freshman All-Americans, two conference defensive players of the year, one sixth man of the year and two NBA players, including one lottery pick.
Heath was named head coach at the University of South Florida in 2007, and the Bulls had their best season during 2011-12. The team captured 22 wins and earned an NCAA Championship berth as a No. 12 seed defeating California in an opening-round game, and then knocked off fifth-seeded Temple before losing to Ohio in the round of 32.
Heath served as head coach at the University of Arkansas for five seasons, guiding the Razorbacks to a pair of NCAA Championship appearances (2006, 2007) and an overall record of 82-71. Prior to Arkansas, Heath guided Kent State to a record-setting 2001-02 campaign in his first year as a head coach at the collegiate level. The Golden Flashes claimed the Mid-American Conference regular season and tournament titles en route to a 30-6 record and an appearance in the Elite Eight. KSU set a league record for wins that year, won 21 games in a row and defeated three nationally ranked opponents (No. 20 Oklahoma St., No. 8 Alabama, No. 9 Pittsburgh) during its historic postseason run.
Heath also spent time as an assistant at Bowling Green University (1994-96) and Michigan State under Tom Izzo, where he was for five years (1996-2001). He helped the Spartans advance to three straight Final Fours, win the 2000 national title to go a combined 132-37. In March 2001, Heath was featured as Sports Illustrated “five college coaches waiting in the wings.” Heath began his collegiate coaching career in 1989 at Hillsdale College as an assistant, and also spent time at Albion College (1990) and Wayne State University (1991-94).
Heath redshirted his freshman year at Eastern Michigan University before lettering in his final three years (1985-87). A native of Detroit, he earned a bachelor’s degree in social science from Eastern Michigan in 1988 and a masters in sports administration from Wayne State University in 1993.
“I am extremely honored and excited to join ESPN and its college basketball team,” said Robinson. “The chance to remain close to the sport I love, expand my horizons and be a part of ESPN and The Walt Disney Company is a tremendous opportunity.”
Robinson recently spent six seasons at Oregon State University, making him the fourth-winningest coach in school history (94 wins). Prior to his time in Corvallis, Robinson spent two seasons at Brown University (2006-08), where he compiled a 30-28 record, and in his first year was named Ivy League Coach of the Year by Basketball U. He also spent time as an assistant at Northwestern University (2000-06) and Illinois Institute of Technology (1988-1990), as well as head coach at Chicago Laboratory Schools (1999-00).
Robinson was drafted in the fourth round of the 1983 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, but never played in the league. After graduation, he played professionally for the Manchester Giants in the British Basketball League for two seasons. A star forward at Princeton University, Robinson was a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year, leading the league in field goal percentage both years. He is the sixth highest scorer in school history with 1,441 points.
A native of Chicago, Robinson, who is married with four children, is the oldest brother of U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama.