Jerod Haase is set to leave UAB (Alabama-Birmingham) to become the new head basketball coach at Stanford. The Cardinal announced the hire on Friday.
Stu McCann of WBMA previously passed along comments the 41-year-old coach made about the situation Thursday during an interview on WJOX Radio.
"I'm happy (at UAB), I love it here," Haase said. "It is crazy, there are so many distractions all the time. It is something that we're trying to build something here."
Although UAB represents Haase's only head-coaching experience, he spent four years with Kansas and nearly a decade with North Carolina as an assistant. So he's had plenty of time working around programs in a power conference.
He accumulated a 80-53 record across four years with the Blazers. That includes a 46-23 mark across two seasons, a stretch that was highlighted by a trip to the NCAA tournament last season and featured an upset victory over Iowa State in the round of 64.
Even though the UAB program has made strides under his guidance, Drew Champlin of AL.com believes it's a smart swap at the right time by Haase:
It's a great move for Haase, who wants to win and be competitive. Not as easy as it sounds at most places but Pac-12 usually wide open— Drew Champlin (@DrewChamplin) March 25, 2016
His arrival at Stanford comes after the eight-year tenure of Johnny Dawkins came to an end earlier in March. The program won two NIT titles in the past five years but qualified for the Big Dance just once during Dawkins' time in charge.
Haase will be expected to get the Cardinal over that hump on a more consistent basis. His time at UAB provided his abilities in terms of building a program. It's a more difficult challenge in a Power Five conference given the intense recruiting battles for top talent.
He'll inherit a roster that had four seniors, but only one (Rosco Allen) that made a major impact. So it's a chance to return a lot of players while still getting a chance to provide an instant boost with success on the recruiting trail right out of the gate.