May 2, 2012 — These are the best of times and the worst of times for fans of Morehead State University men’s basketball.
It’s sad to lose Coach Donnie Tyndall but, at the same time, we should be happy for his personal success.
And, as we have learned in times past, most recently in 2006, the hiring of a new coach undoubtedly will bring another new spirit of excitement to Johnson Arena.
It was barely six years ago when an eager, enthusiastic young coach – with a reputation as a master recruiter – came back to his alma mater and promised to do everything he could to build a successful men’s basketball program.
Donnie Tyndall proved to be a man of his word as he steadily assembled a basketball team that won on the basketball court and in the classroom.
The entire basketball world knows that he found a gangly, smiling young man in the inner city of Newark, N. J., who trusted him to make him a better player and help him earn a college degree.
Kenneth Faried not only became the best rebounder in the history of college basketball, a first round NBA draft pick and a college graduate, he led his team to a couple of Ohio Valley Conference championships and trips to the big dance – the NCAA tournament.
Some say that upset win over the U of L Cardinals in Denver will be remembered as the most exciting game in tournament history.
Others saw it as a turning point in Donnie Tyndall’s reputation as a coach. National media began to speculate about his future marketability.
In our view, no one in college basketball works harder or is more deserving of success than Tyndall.
We knew that his success in finding and developing players and building winning teams would someday take him away from Morehead State.
And that’s exactly what happened on Monday when the Golden Eagles of the University of Southern Mississippi tapped him to be their head coach.
And we surely can’t feel bad toward USM, the institution that produced Brett Favre and Jimmy Buffet.
Looking ahead, his decision to go to a larger school in a national conference could open other doors as Tyndall takes his teams into the media markets of Dallas, Houston, Memphis, New Orleans, and Birmingham.
Thanks, coach, for keeping your promise to make our Eagles soar again. We wish you the very best.