Eastern Michigan University alum returns as new head men’s basketball coach

Three-year letterman Stan Heath played for EMU in 1980s

Stan Heath will be EMU's 30th head men's basketball coach. (Eastern Michigan University)

YPSILANTI, Mich. – Eastern Michigan University announced on Monday that it will be welcoming back men’s basketball alumnus Stan Heath as its new men’s head basketball coach.

Heath played for EMU as a three-year letterwinnner from 1985-87 and has held head coaching positions for the past 17 years.

Heath will be the program’s 30th head coach, said EMU vice president and director of athletics Scott Weatherbee.

“We are so thrilled to welcome back Stan Heath as our new head men’s basketball coach,” Wetherbee said ina news release. “One of the key messages I heard throughout the search process was the desire to find someone with Eastern Michigan connections as well as someone with a strong head coaching pedigree.

“In hiring Coach Heath, we absolutely have that person. He is a proven winner in both the collegiate and professional ranks, and his focus on positively impacting the lives of our student-athlete is infectious. We cannot wait to have him and his family back on campus and reintroducing them to the Eastern Michigan family.”

A closed press conference will be held on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. inside the Convocation Center to formally introduce Heath to the school community. Watch the livestream at EMUEagles.com.

The 56-year-old has 13 years of experience coaching at the collegiate level, with four NCAA tournament appearances. Heath is also a three-time Coach of the Year winner in various leagues and has gotten national recognition for his recruitment efforts.

“I’m thrilled to return to my alma mater as the head men’s basketball coach,” Heath said in a news release. “I appreciate the opportunity that has been given to me by President Smith and our Athletic Director Scott Wetherbee to lead this program. Eastern Michigan is a special place for me and my family.

“I look forward to working with our student-athletes and implementing a style and systems that excites our students, community, and alumni. Our goal is to win Mid-American Conference championships and be a perennial NCAA team.”

Heath has coached the University of Arkansas, University of South Florida and, most recently, Orlando Magic’s NBA G League affiliate, the Lakeland Magic, where he guided the team to five victories in its final six games. He was named the league’s 2020-21 Dennis Johnson Coach of the Year.

Heath began his coaching career at Ypsilanti’s Lincoln High School, right after the 6-foot-1 former backup point guard wrapped up playing at Eastern. He earned a bachelor’s degree in social science from EMU in 1988 and a master’s degree in sports administration from Wayne State University in 1993.

He has two sons, Jordan and Joshua, with his wife Ramona.