May 1, 2012 — Morehead State University is looking for a new men’s head basketball coach.
The search started Saturday when Donnie Tyndall informed MSU officials that he was resigning his position after six seasons to take the same job at the University of Southern Mississippi.
News media speculation about Tyndall’s future began Friday when CBSSports.com reported he had met with USM officials in New Orleans and had been offered the position.
No one commented publicly until MSU issued a news release Saturday evening to disclose Tyndall’s resignation.
As this issue of The Morehead News went to press, USM had scheduled a press conference for Monday afternoon to announce Tyndall as its new basketball coach, replacing Larry Eustachy who left in early April to become coach at Colorado State.
MSU Athletics Director Brian Hutchinson said the search would begin immediately and that it would be national in scope.
He declined to disclose any names of possible candidates.
“As we did six years ago with Donnie Tyndall, we’re going to find the best coach who is the best fit for our institution,” Hutchinson said.
He said he is hopeful of completing the process within 15 days but no hard deadline exists.
Among the finalists in 2006 when Tyndall was hired was Morehead native and MSU alumnus Kelly Wells, who won a national NAIA basketball championship in 2011 at the University of Pikeville (UPike) where he has compiled a record of 105-56 in six years.
Tyndall led the Eagles to two Ohio Valley Conference Tournament championships and a pair of NCAA Tournament berths in 2009 and 2011.
He finishes his MSU coaching stint with records of 114-85 (.572) overall, 70-40 (.636) in conference games and 70-18 (.795) in home contests at Johnson Arena.
“Donnie has done an outstanding job during his tenure at MSU,” said Dr. Wayne D. Andrews, Morehead State’s president. “I have enjoyed working with him not only as a coach, but as a person who really cares about his alma mater. His work in the community really helped bring Eagle basketball back and turned around the program. We are disappointed to see him leave; however, we are certainly happy for him and his family. He always will be part of the MSU family.”
MSU improved in each of Tyndall’s first five seasons. The Eagles went 12-18 (.400) in 2006-07, 15-15 (.500) in 2007-08, 20-16 (.556) in 2008-09, 24-11 (.686) in 2009-10 and 25-10 (.714) in 2010-11.
The Eagles lost their top scorer at mid-season this year but managed to finish at 18-15 overall and 10-6 in the OVC.
Morehead State also went from four wins and a Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) of 321 in 2005-06 to 25 victories and an RPI of 64 in 2010-11. The 21-win increase and 257-spot RPI jump were the largest improvements of any NCAA Division I program over those five years.
“We are sorry to see Donnie leave, but wish him the very best at Southern Miss,” said Hutchinson. “The strides we have made in the past six years have been truly remarkable and we are grateful for everything Donnie has done. He has been a terrific ambassador for our men’s basketball program, athletic department and university as a whole.”
Tyndall is a 1993 MSU graduate. He previously coached at Iowa Central Community College (assistant, 1993-96), St. Catharine College (head, 1996-97), LSU (assistant, 1997-2001), Idaho (associate head, 2001-02) and Middle Tennessee State (associate head, 2002-06).