Updates from Tuesday, April 22
Tennessee has confirmed Donnie Tyndall is the new Tennessee head coach:
We're proud to announce that Donnie Tyndall will be introduced as Tennessee's 19th head coach today at 2 p.m. ET! pic.twitter.com/VSbKGLFinf— Tennessee Basketball (@Vol_Hoops) April 22, 2014
Ben Frederickson of GoVolsXtra.com provides insight surrounding Tyndall's plans for his coaching staff:
New Tennessee men’s basketball coach Donnie Tyndall plans to bring the bulk of his Southern Miss staff with him to Knoxville, a source close to the situation told the News Sentinel early Tuesday morning.
CBS Sports' Gary Parrish also reported updated financial details of Tyndall's contract with Tennessee:
A source told @CBSSports that Donnie Tyndall's deal at Tennessee is for six years at $1.6 million per year.— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) April 22, 2014
Donnie Tyndall, a sought-after name on the head coaching market, made it clear last month he was happy at Southern Miss, but it would appear Tennessee made him an offer he couldn't refuse.
CBS Sports' Gary Parrish first reported the Vols have found their replacement for Cuonzo Martin, recently agreeing to terms with Tyndall:
BREAKING: Sources told @CBSSports that Tennessee has offered Donnie Tyndall. He plans to accept and be the Vols’ next coach. Story coming …— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) April 22, 2014
ESPN's Jeff Goodman and Andy Katz added more details on the financial terms, and how an agreement was made:
The deal was for five years at $8 million overall. But they were still negotiating Monday night because Tyndall wanted six years instead of five, a source with direct knowledge on the negotiations told ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz.
Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart reached out to Tyndall, who has spent the past two seasons at Southern Miss, and the two quickly agreed to a preliminary deal.
This comes as somewhat of a surprise. As Tyndall's name continued to pop up for vacancies around the country, he attempted to put an end to any and all rumors, via the Clarion Ledger's Jason Munz:
I don’t plan to leave here. Now, would I be lying if I didn’t say, ‘At some point, some day if the exact right job came along, would I have to take a look at it? Yeah, you probably would.’
Well, it looks like the "right job came along," and it's a good thing for the Vols. As Parrish argued, this is the perfect fit for a school looking to retain momentum after its first Sweet 16 appearance since 2008:
Like I said when Arizona got Sean Miller, Tennessee will eventually be glad that it stumbled into this hire. Donnie Tyndall is a great fit.— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) April 22, 2014
After an extended stint with Morehead State, Tyndall spent the last two seasons leading Southern Miss to a combined record of 56-17 (.767) and a pair of NIT appearances.
While that may not jump off the resume, there are an array of circumstances that make this a tantalizing hire. As a former assistant at LSU (four years), he has experience recruiting out of the SEC. As a former Middle Tennessee assistant (four years), he knows the state. As the former Morehead State head coach (six years), he has had success in the area.
How would you grade this hire by Tennessee?
The Eagles, who went 4-23 the year before Tyndall was hired, were 114-85 during his reign, made two NCAA tournament appearances and famously upset fourth-seeded Louisville in the NCAA tournament behind Kenneth Faried.
Finally, as Parrish notes, Tyndall is a "big personality who has helped increase season-ticket sales at USM."
This isn't going to be an easy job for the up-and-coming head coach. Tennessee returns just one starter and senior (Josh Richardson) in 2014-15, making this a nearly total rebuilding project.
But as Tyndall has proven in the past, he is capable of turning things in a positive direction very quickly.