HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - After leading the Golden Eagles through the last five season, men’s head basketball coach Doc Sadler is stepping away from the program. The university announced Sadler’s resignation Thursday morning.
“I’d like to thank the administration, fans and especially the players for sticking with us through difficult times but also in the fun times,” Sadler said, according to USM. “As a coach, one of the things that I always try to do is prepare my players for life and hopefully I have lived by that example. With the support of my family, I’ve decided it’s time for me to take a step back from being a head coach. I feel very comfortable doing that as I know that I am leaving this program in a good position. After 16 years as a college head coach, it’s time to evaluate what’s next for me. With a new athletic director in place and a talented young team I feel that the best days are ahead for Southern Miss basketball.”
Sadler led the Golden Eagles to a 20-13 overall record in the 2018-2019 season, including an 11-7 mark against Conference USA opponents.
Sadler took over the men’s basketball program in April of 2014. At the time, the program was facing sanctions from the NCAA and limited scholarships.
Athletic Director Jeremy McClain praised Sadler’s dedication to the basketball program and success over the past five years, despite the uncertainty Sadler faced when he first arrived in Hattiesburg.
"I want to thank Doc Sadler for his time, effort, and commitment to the University of Southern Mississippi and our men's basketball program," McClain said in a news release from USM. "He inherited a very difficult situation five years ago but has done an outstanding job putting our program in a positive position going forward. We wish him and his family the very best on the next step in their journey. Our attention now turns to the student-athletes within our basketball program and to find the right leader to help them continue to grow as athletes and men."
The university will immediately begin the search for a new head basketball coach, according to the release.