Head attended Phelps High School after which he went to Dodge City (Kans.) Junior College. While there, he paced Dodge City with a 22.3 points average his sophomore year. Head was considered a "leaper" who also earned Junior College All-America first team selection his both his freshman and sophomore year. He was regarded by many as the best player in the 1965 National Junior College Tournament.

After graduating, Head chose West Virginia because he wanted to be closer to home. Going into his junior year, he was listed to play forward although he could have been used in the pivot as well. It was believed that he played spectacularly in spurts but was a team man and fast, light on his feet. He also had a wonderful knack for scoring in close and was quick to move in all directions. That year he averaged 13.9 points per game and led the team with a 53.5 shooting percentage which ranked No. 26 in the nation. His top scores that season were 28 points against Syracuse and 26 against NYU. He also made the all opponent second teams of Syracuse and North Carolina and William and Mary. Going into his senior year he was considered an exciting and valuable player.