USM names new basketball coach
Published: Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 01:05
Much has changed since the Golden Eagles ended their season against the Kansas State Wildcats in the NCAA tournament. Soon after the buzzer sounded on the Eagles’ season, Southern Miss head coach Larry Eustachy left for the head coaching job at Colorado State University, leaving the Eagles in search of a new coach.
After much speculation and many interviews with possible candidates, the Eagle brass cut the list down to six candidates for the job. The searching committee in charge of finding a new coach met with the eight candidates individually in New Orleans to determine who would be the next head coach at USM. The group that met with the prospective coaches was lead by interim athletic director Jeff Hammond, who was very pleased with the choice to hire Donnie Tyndall as the nineteenth head men’s basketball coach in USM history. Hammond gave the panel a very detailed list of qualities that he looked for in the next head coach for the men’s basketball team at Southern Miss. Hammond believes that Tyndall was the best man for the job and that he filled all of the qualifications.
“The guidance I gave this great advisory panel was very simple,” Hammond said. “Here’s what I told them: ‘Number one, we want a head coach that fits the mission of the University of Southern Mississippi, and that’s to be bold, creative, and determined. It’s an academic mission where we graduate kids to go forth in their lives and make a difference. Number two, we want a head basketball coach that will lead a program of integrity and foremost to that is sportsmanship. Number three, we want a coach that not only knows the game, but he knows how to teach these kids on their terms. I also told this group that we want a coach that wins championships but can communicate with you (the fans). Finally, we want a coach that will make their experience so special for the rest of their lives that they’re going to want to come home to here and always call this their university and hold on to us who call it our university.”
Tyndall has been a successful coach thus far in his career. Most recently, he was head coach at Morehead State University where he compiled a 70-40 record over a six year span. His best season at Morehead State was in 2011, when the team finished 25-10 and knocked out Louisville in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Prior to being head coach at Morehead State, his only other head coaching job came in a one-year stint at St. Catherine, where he led the school to a 30-5 record and was voted the Region 7 Coach of the Year and took the team to their first ever appearance in the National Junior College Athletic Association National Tournament.
Tyndall hopes to bring a high speed, fun to watch offense and a pressure defense to Southern Miss.
“My style of play is going to be an aggressive style of play,” Tyndall said. “Most of you have never seen Morehead State play, but our defense would be similar to Louisville. We are going to press on made baskets, we’re going to press on dead balls, we’re going to get after people in the have court. We’re going to have an aggressive zone. Offensively, we’re going to play a lot like Kansas. We’re going to run a high/low motion with a lot of ball screens and give our guards freedom to play, draw and kick off ball screens and shoot a lot of threes. It’s going to be exciting and fun for you fans.”