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calling_the_hogs Offline
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From WholeHogSports.com
<a href="http://www.wholehogsports.com" target="_blank">www.wholehogsports.com</a>

Rolls reverse for Flaska, Heath at UA

-From the Northwest Arkansas Times
Arkansas' new No. 2 assistant offered Arkansas' new head basketball coach a job.

That was awhile back in their careers, laughs Rob Flaska, an assistant to Arkansas coach Stan Heath.

Former University of Washington assistant head coach Byron Boudreaux, former TCU assistant Flaska, Oronde Taliaferro, an assistant for Heath at Kent State, and administrative assistant Darren Sorenson comprise Heath's Razorback staff.

Flaska, 42, and Heath, 37, first crossed paths in Michigan whe en Flaska was a junior college head coach.

"When I was at Mott Junior College in Flint, Mich," Flaska said, "he recruited some of my players for Elbion. There was a point where he was in transition and I tried to get him to work for me. But I only had a part-time spot and was trying to have him do some teaching in Flint."

Flaska laughed.

"He made the right decision," Flaska said. "Because he ended up doing all right for himself."

Their paths continued crossing throughout Michigan as Heath advanced to assistant coaching positions at Wayne State and finally Michigan State, under Tom Izzo. Heath was part of a a national championship staff at Michigan State plus another Final Four at before last year's head coaching job at Kent State. Heath took Kent State to the NCAA Elite Eight, opening the door to replace Nolan Richardson after Arkansas bought out the contract of its longtime coach.

Flaska didn't stay put either, joining the Division I ranks as an assistant first at the University of Detroit and then for Billy Tubbs at TCU.

"I was on staff at the University of Detroit," Flaska said, "and some of the guys he (Heath) recruited played for us. When he was at Wayne State, some of my former players were down there. That was our connection and we kept in contact over the years. You could tell he was a great person. He was recruiting Flint back then before he recruited the Flintstones (several key players from Flint) for Michigan State. He's well thought of in Flint, Mich."

Apparently Flaska was well thought of by Heath. Arkansas' new coach wasted little time hiring Flaska.

So did Heath contact Flaska first or did Flaska first contact Heath?

"I don't know how to answer that one, to be honest with you," Flaska said. "I was at the Final Four trying to track him down and somebody told him, 'Rob has been trying to contact you.' It was short, quick. Kind of a mutual thing, I think. I never caught up with him at the Final Four but he called me the day after the Final Four. He was doing his homework all that week."

And when Heath does his homework, he does his homework.

"Just call me the FBI," Heath laughed when asked how he checked out Boudreaux, whom he knew of but didn't know.

Flaska said Heath attempts to meet every situation prepared.

"Let me tell you about Stan," Flaska said after all the Razorback coaches had taken a NCAA compliance test. "He got 40 out of 40 on the compliance test today. I bet out of the 70 something people that took it, only five got a perfect score. He's really an intelligent guy and he knows what he wants. He listens to what people say, but he's pretty confident. He knows what he wants to do and calmly does it. That's part of being confident, I think."

Flaska had been in the job market since last October after Tubbs notified TCU his regime in Fort Worth would end with the 2001-2002 season.

"I did like being at TCU and living in Fort Worth," Flaska said. "But unfortunately, Billy and the school decided to go different directions. That was kind of a tough situation."

He was thinking of nearly every school, but not all, to remedy his tough situation.

"I didn't think of Arkansas until Stan got the job," Flaska said. "He didn't know that many people down here. And I'm already down here tracking the South for a Conference USA school. And he knows me. So those were two big things."

Flaska hadn't thought of Arkansas with Richardson being a UA fixture for 17 years, but he knew something about it from one of Richardson's former Arkansas top assistants, Scott Edgar. Edgar, now an assistant at Alabama-Birmingham under former Arkansas assistant head coach Mike Anderson, and Flaska both were at TCU.

"I worked with Scott Edgar for three years," Flaska said. "Scott always used to talk about Arkansas. Working here is interesting because he always thought highly of Arkansas."

Have Edgar's high thoughts been justified?

"I told people this is all great," Flaska said. "But Stan is the best part of it. He's such a good guy. And I like everyone on the staff here. I like Fayetteville and I like the school. How can you not? Everybody up here is friendly. I've worked in places where it didn't feel like a total team environment and didn't find people to be as supportive and friendly as they've been here."
07-04-2002 08:38 PM
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calling_the_hogs Offline
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I really like this part in the article...

"Let me tell you about Stan," Flaska said after all the Razorback coaches had taken a NCAA compliance test. "He got 40 out of 40 on the compliance test today. I bet out of the 70 something people that took it, only five got a perfect score. He's really an intelligent guy and he knows what he wants. He listens to what people say, but he's pretty confident. He knows what he wants to do and calmly does it. That's part of being confident, I think."

The future's looking oh so much better.
WPS!
07-04-2002 08:40 PM
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