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Arkansas fires Heath; Utah, Liberty, Binghampton hire



Stan Heath was fired Monday after five seasons as the basketball coach at Arkansas. Utah, Binghamton and Liberty hired hoops coaches.

Utah is set to hire Michigan State assistant Jim Boylen. Binghamton announced the hiring of Kevin Broadus, a Georgetown assistant, and Liberty University tabbed Ritchie McKay, who was dismissed last month at New Mexico.

Rick Pitino, meanwhile, said he’s happy coaching Louisville and wouldn’t consider returning to Kentucky, the school he led to the national championship in 1996.

“I would never ever leave (Louisville) to go to another college because they’re my family,” Pitino said Monday.

Pitino, who was “shocked” by Tubby Smith’s sudden departure last week, sees too much potential in the Cardinals to consider leaving.

Louisville went 24-10 this season and finished second in the Big East before falling to Texas A&M in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

North Dakota State promoted assistant Saul Phillips to the head coaching job. Dane Fife, who led Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne to a school-record number of Division I wins in his first two seasons, agreed to a contract extension through 2013.

The Razorbacks made the NCAA Tournament thanks to a late-season run, but that was not enough to save Heath’s job.

The Razorbacks (21-14) lost 77-60 to Southern California in the first round.

Heath’s record at the school was 82-71, but he went 31-49 in the Southeastern Conference.

Athletic director Frank Broyles said Heath represented the school with “professionalism and integrity.”

“However, in my professional judgment, it is best that the program move forward under new leadership in our efforts to return Razorback basketball to national prominence,” Broyles said.

Boylen will be a head coach for the first time after two seasons as an assistant to Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and 13 years as an NBA assistant, including 11 years with the Houston Rockets and stints with Golden State and Milwaukee.

A person close to Boylen confirmed the move on Monday.

Boylen will replace Ray Giacoletti, who resigned after three seasons and became an assistant at Gonzaga. The Utes went 11-19 last season.

Broadus has business to attend to before heading to Binghamton. He’s still an assistant at Georgetown, which is in the Final Four.

He joined the Georgetown staff three years ago, and is optimistic about Binghamton.

“I believe the program is untapped with all the support it has,” Broadus said. “We should be gunning to win the America East Championship. That’s my goal.”

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