Donnie Tyndall has been named the 19th head coach in the history of the Southern Miss men’s basketball program, announced today at a press conference held on campus. His appointment is subject to approval from the IHL Board.
Tyndall comes to Southern Miss after heading up the Morehead State basketball program for the last six years. Since 2006, Tyndall has amassed a 114-85 overall record, including a 70-40 mark in the Ohio Valley Conference.
“I am excited to announce Donnie Tyndall as the new head basketball coach at The University of Southern Mississippi,” said Southern Miss Interim Athletics Director Jeff Hammond. “I have gotten to know Coach Tyndall well over the course of the interview process. He is a person of high character and morals that will make an immediate impact on and off the court. His energy and enthusiasm are contagious. There are not many opportunities when you can hire a current Division I head basketball coach who has six years of Division I head coaching experience, 114 Division I victories, and two NCAA tournament appearances on his resume. We are extremely excited to have Coach Tyndall join the Southern Miss family.”
The Grand Rapids, Mich., native has led the Eagles to postseason play three of the past four years, advancing to the NCAA Tournament in 2009 and 2011.
Tyndall took over Morehead State in 2006, inheriting a squad that finished 4-23 the previous year. Tyndall immediately made his mark on the school, improving the team’s win total in each of his first five years. His squads won at least 20 games from 2008-11 after Morehead State reached the 20-win plateau just twice in its history prior to his arrival.
Tyndall’s first squad tripled their win total from the previous year, finishing the year 12-18. The following season, the Eagles were picked 10th in the Ohio Valley Conference preseason poll. However, MSU finished 15-15 overall and third in the conference, earning 2008 OVC Coach of the Year honors.
Things really came together in 2008-09. The Eagles went 24-11, winning the Ohio Valley Conference and making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1984. MSU faced Alabama State in the First Four, defeating the Hornets before falling to Louisville in the second round.
In 2009-10, Morehead State again improved its win total, going 24-11 and making it to the second round of the College Basketball Invitational. That year, Athlon’s Sports Magazine deemed him one of the Top 10 Under the Radar Coaches.
Tyndall had his best season yet in 2010-11. The Eagles set a Morehead State record for wins, finishing 25-10. They also won their second OVC Championship under Tyndall and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time, defeating Louisville in the second round. For his efforts, Tyndall was recognized as the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District Coach of the Year.
That year’s squad was led by Kenneth Faried. Under Tyndall’s tutelage, Faried became a two-time OVC Player of the Year, an All-American and the NCAA’s all-time leading rebounder on his way to becoming the 22nd overall pick in the NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets.
Last year, the Eagles finished 18-15 record and finished third in the OVC.
Prior to Morehead State, served as an assistant coach at Iowa Central Community College (1993-96), head coach at St. Catharine College (1996-97) assistant coach at LSU (1997-01) and associate head coach at Idaho (2001-02) and Middle Tennessee (2002-06).
At Middle Tennessee, Tyndall helped the Blue Raiders average 17 wins per season while helping to lead them to four consecutive winning seasons. As the recruiting coordinator, Tyndall twice earned MTSU Top 25 recruiting classes in 2003 and 2004. Both classes were also ranked No. 1 in the Sun Belt Conference.
In his only year at Idaho, Tyndall helped the Vandals land the No. 15 recruiting class in the country in 2002.
During his time at LSU, Tyndall helped recruit three classes that were ranked in the Top 25 nationally, including the top ranked class in 1998. He coached five players who earned All-SEC honors, four of which went on to play in the NBA. In 2000, he helped the Tigers win the SEC Championship and advance to the Sweet 16, ranking 10th in the final AP Poll.
In his one season as the head coach of St. Catharine, Tyndall led the team to a school-record 30-5 mark and its first ever appearance in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Tournament. That year, he was named Region 7 National Coach of the Year, Kentucky Junior College Coach of the Year and Kentucky-Tennessee Junior College Coach of the Year.
Added Hammond, “I would like to thank our wonderful dedicated and diverse selection committee that worked tirelessly to find the best basketball coach for Southern Miss. We received a tremendous amount of interest in this job from across the country. Coach Tyndall was the only coach offered the job and the unanimous choice of the selection committee. Southern Miss Basketball is in great hands will Coach Tyndall leading the way.”
Tyndall played collegiately at Morehead State from 1990-93. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Morehead State in 1993 and his master’s degree from LSU in 2000.
Tyndall has two daughters, Taylor Elise and Grace Elizabeth.