Coach Donnie Tyndall signs new four-year contract

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The following is a news release from the University of Southern Mississippi

Southern Miss Director of Athletics Bill McGillis announced Wednesday that the school and men's basketball coach Donnie Tyndall have agreed to terms on a new four-year contract that will run through the 2017-18 season.

"I am very pleased that Coach Tyndall has reaffirmed his commitment to Southern Miss," said McGillis. "There is no doubt that this is where he wants to be, and, obviously, where we want him to be. I'm excited for Donnie and his family, the young men in our basketball program and our terrific fans.

"Donnie is an outstanding leader of young men. He has set a very high standard for them both on and off the court. That comes from his commitment to developing each and every one of his players' talents as students, basketball players and men. He expects excellence, and he gives every ounce of energy he has in developing each and every one of his players to their fullest potential."

The second-year head coach has posted a 40-12 record for the Golden Eagles, reaching the 40-win plateau quicker than any previous Southern Miss coach in the sport.

Tyndall led the Golden Eagles to a Division I school-record 27 victories and into the National Invitation Tournament quarterfinal round in his first season at the helm of the program a year ago. That squad broke 44 school records, eight Reed Green Coliseum records and seven Conference USA marks during that campaign.

This season, Tyndall has Southern Miss on the brink of the Top 25 for the first time in 33 years.  The Golden Eagles received 15 votes in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll, ranking No. 31 this week, and the team's unofficial RPI is No. 27.

Southern Miss now heads into its Conference USA opener Thursday night at North Texas with a 13-2 mark, tying a school record for most wins prior to starting C-USA play. Only 11 men's programs of the 361 Division I basketball schools have more wins than the Golden Eagles in 2013-14.

Tyndall, who is leading a Division I program for his eighth season, recently collected his 150th career victory and has posted 20-plus win seasons four times in his seven-year stint, including six seasons at Morehead State. Four of his 20-plus winning years have come over his last five campaigns.

Tyndall has taken his teams to four postseason tournaments, including twice to the NCAAs, once to the NIT, and once to the CBI, having won at least one game in each trip and posting a 5-4 postseason mark. In addition, 16 of his eligible 17 seniors that he has coached at the Division I level have received their undergraduate degree, including all three seniors last season. The Golden Eagle basketball team also enjoyed its highest team grade point average in 18 years.

"I am very appreciative of Dr. Bennett and Bill McGillis in showing their confidence in me to continue to grow our program at Southern Miss," said Tyndall. "My family, my staff and I have thoroughly enjoyed our time in Hattiesburg. The fact that Bill McGillis was out in front of this entire process since his first few weeks on the job means a great deal to me; words can't express my appreciation towards him for his efforts. Bill has been phenomenal to work with thus far and I look forward to the future with him.

"I also remain very appreciative of the amazing support of our great fans and   community."

Tyndall has garnered individual awards as a head coach at every stop in his career including the Kentucky-Tennessee Junior College Coach of the Year, the Kentucky Junior College Coach of the Year and NJCAA Region 7 Coach of the Year, all coming in 1997 when he led the program at St. Catherine's College. He also garnered the Ohio Valley Coach of the Year in 2008 at Morehead State and earned the NABC District Coach of the Year in both 2011 and 2013 in his first season at Southern Miss.