Tim Fuller will coach in place of Frank Haith (Mizzou Athletics)

Tim Fuller will coach in place of Frank Haith (Mizzou Athletics)

While Frank Haith serves his suspension handed down by the NCAA, which covers the first games of the 2013 season, Haith announced that associate head coach Tim Fuller will be the interim head coach in Haith’s absence. The reasoning for Haith’s decision was easy.

“Cause Tim’s been here the longest, he’s the associate head coach and he has the pulse of me…he’s deserved this,” said Haith at Wednesday’s press conference.

The Tigers open the season against Southeastern Louisiana, and while Haith had two other options to choose from, he went with Fuller.

AUDIO Haith and Fuller on head coaching duties (15:00)

Frank Haith’s assistant coaches:

Tim Fuller:

Associate Head Coach Tim Fuller begins his third season at Missouri. Fuller has had success at every step of the basketball coaching ladder. Fuller is considered one of college basketball’s top “up-and-comers”, but already has 17 seasons of basketball coaching, playing, marketing and administrative experience under his belt.

Dave Leitao:

Among Leitao’s many accomplishments on the hardwood are league titles at DePaul (2004) and Virginia (2007), as well as 22 career postseason appearances, including 13 NCAA Tournaments. His championship pedigree includes the 1999 National Championship at the University of Connecticut, where he served as the Associate Head Coach under Basketball Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun.

Mark Phelps:

Phelps was the winningest coach in Drake University history through his first five years, enters his first season as an assistant coach with the Mizzou Basketball program. Phelps led Drake to a pair of postseason appearances and 77 wins during his five seasons in Des Moines, Iowa. This is his first season at Mizzou.