Jerod Haase may have given himself another great birthday gift as he has signed on as Stanford's latest men's basketball coach, less than two weeks following the dismissal of Johnny Dawkins, who was hired by Central Florida University.
"Stanford University is a world-class institution which represents excellence across the board," said Haase, who will be 42 next Friday. "We will compete for championships by doing it the right way and graduating young men who will go on to accomplish great things in the world. I am humbled by the opportunity afforded to me . . . and my family . . . and I am eager to get started."
Haase, who becomes the 18th head coach in the history of the program, arrives on The Farm after completing his fourth season as the head coach at UAB, where he led the Blazers to a regular-season Conference USA championship in 2016 and the program's 15th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance in 2015. Haase compiled an 80-53 overall record while improving the Blazers' win total every year.
"Jerod has not only demonstrated his excellent coaching and teaching abilities over the years, but he also shares the values that make Stanford special," said Stanford Director of Athletics Bernard Muir. "I have no doubt that Jerod will soon lead our program to Pac-12 championships and that we will be a regular participant in the NCAA Tournament. He will win with integrity, class and sportsmanship while ensuring our student-athletes reach their full potential in their academic and social endeavors."
Tabbed the 2016 Gene Bartow Conference USA Coach of the Year, Haase led the Blazers to a 26-5 overall record and a 16-2 conference mark while capturing their first regular-season title since 2011. Along the way, UAB established school records for overall victories (26), conference wins (16), road wins (10) and consecutive victories (14).
Also named the 2016 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District Coach, Haase directed the Blazers to an NIT berth for the 12th time in school history. UAB finished 16-0 at home this season, extending the nation's fifth-longest home winning streak to 25, while ranking among the nation's best in field goal percentage (.478 24th), assists per game (18.4 4th) and blocks per game (4th 6.1).
Under Haase's guidance, UAB returned to the NCAA Tournament in 2015, shocking No. 3 seed Iowa State, 60-59, in the second round for the Blazers' first NCAA victory since 2005. UAB reached the Big Dance after claiming the program's first Conference USA Tournament title despite being seeded No. 4. The triumph marked UAB's first league tournament title since 1987, when the Blazers won the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. More impressively, Haase successfully developed a roster comprised of 10 underclassmen all players recruited by Haase and his staff and finished 20-16 overall while guiding the third-youngest team in NCAA Division I.
The Blazers made impressive strides under Haase's leadership during the 2013-14 campaign, finishing 18-13 overall while notching three victories against teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Of UAB's 18 victories, perhaps none were more impressive than the Blazers' 63-59 home win against No. 16 North Carolina. UAB was ranked in the top five nationally in rebounding throughout the season and finished the year ranked second in the country at 44.5 boards per game.
During Haase's first year with the Blazers in 2012-13, UAB won six of its final nine regular-season Conference USA games and collected a victory in the conference tournament.
Prior to arriving at UAB, Haase played for Roy Williams at Kansas and spent 13 years on Williams' staff with the Jayhawks and Tar Heels. A 1997 graduate of Kansas with a degree in business administration, Haase got his start as Kansas' Director of Operations from 1999-2003. During that time, the Jayhawks reached the 2002 Final Four and the national championship game in 2003.
When Williams was named head coach at North Carolina prior to the 2003-04 season, he brought Haase with him as an assistant coach and director of operations, a title Haase held from 2003-09. Haase then served exclusively as an assistant coach during his final three seasons with the Tar Heels.
A native of South Lake Tahoe, Haase attended California in 1992-93 before transferring to Kansas. He helped lead the Jayhawks to three consecutive conference titles and finished his career ranked in the school's top 10 in assists, three-point field goals and steals. Haase started 99 of 101 games at Kansas and scored 1,264 points, averaging 12.5 per game and reaching double figures 74 times. While at Kansas, Haase was a candidate for the Naismith and Wooden Awards.
As a senior in 1996-97, Haase started alongside Jacque Vaughn, Scot Pollard, Paul Pierce and Raef LaFrentz as Kansas finished with a 34-2 record while averaging 12.0 points per game despite playing with a broken wrist. As a sophomore in 1994-95, Haase averaged 15.0 points and was named the Big Eight Conference Newcomer of the Year and also tabbed a second-team all-conference selection.
Haase was a first-team GTE Academic All-American as a senior, a second-team Academic All-American as a junior and a three-time academic all-conference pick. The Jayhawks' Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 1997, Haase later earned a master's degree in business at Kansas in 2000.
Haase started 23 games in 1992-93 as a freshman at California, teaming with Jason Kidd in the backcourt.
Dawkins, meanwhile, takes over at UCF as the Knights' seventh head coach since the program's inception in 1969. He replaces Donnie Jones, whose UCF run ended following a disappointing first-round loss to No. 10 seed Tulane during the first round of the American Athletic Conference tournament on March 10.
Dawkins, 52, comes to UCF after posting a 156-115 overall record and 66-78 record in Pac-12 play during his tenure. The Cardinal made the NCAA tournament just once in his eight seasons, making it to the Sweet 16 during his lone appearance two years ago.
Dawkins was fired this season after Stanford went 15-15 and 8-10 in Pac-12 play.
Dawkins becomes the second head coach that first-year UCF athletic director Danny White has hired. He also hired onetime Stanford quarterback Scott Frost as the football coach and is also currently looking for a new women's basketball coach.