Tyndall leaving Morehead for Southern Miss

Reported by: Dan Rieffer
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Updated: 4/28/2012 11:22 pm
Morehead State's Donnie Tyndall is leaving his alma mater to become the new head coach at Southern Miss.

MOREHEAD, Ky. - Morehead State's Donnie Tyndall is leaving his alma mater to become the next head coach at Southern Miss. He's reportedly agreed to a four-year deal and is expected to be introduced in Hattiesburg on Monday.

Already, several names have popped up as potential candidates to fill the vacancy at Morehead. Tri-State Sports Media has reported that University of Kentucky Unforgettable and current Mississippi Valley State head coach Sean Woods, who was a finalist for the Southern Miss opening, is showing interest. Another former Wildcat's name has been mentioned - Saul Smith - the son of former UK head coach Tubby Smith who is currently an assistant for his father at Minnesota. University of Pikeville head coach Kelly Wells is a likely candidate. However, Tyndall would like to see his top assistant, Wade O'Connor, succeed him.

From Morehead State Athletics:
Morehead State Head Men’s Basketball Coach Donnie Tyndall has resigned his position after six seasons to take the same job at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Tyndall led the Eagles to two Ohio Valley Conference Tournament championships and a pair of NCAA Tournament berths (2009 and 2011).  He finishes 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 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.

Morehead State also went from four wins and a Ratings Percentage Index 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 Brian Hutchinson, Morehead State director of athletics.  “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 Morehead State 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).

A national search for Tyndall’s replacement will begin immediately.

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