S. Illinois hires Hinson as hoops coach

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 28, 2012
Southern Illinois has hired former Missouri State coach Barry Hinson as its new men's basketball coach, SIU's athletics director confirmed Wednesday. Athletics Director Mario Moccia confirmed the hiring and welcomed Hinson to Southern Illinois in a Twitter posting Wednesday, hours before a planned news conference to introduce Hinson as the Salukis new head coach. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Hinson was fired by the Bears in 2008 after failing to take that program to the NCAA tournament in nine seasons, during which time he guided Missouri State to a 169-117 mark. He has served the past two seasons as director of men's basketball operations at Kansas, which plays Ohio State in a national semifinal Saturday, after his two seasons as that program's chief of external relations. Hinson, an Oklahoma State alumnus with a 205-140 career record, replaces Chris Lowery, who went 145-116 in eight seasons with the Salukis but was fired March 2 after an 8-23 season. Lowery's teams made three NCAA tournament appearances, including the Sweet 16 in 2007, but they hadn't been to the tournament since then and posted losing records in three of the past four seasons. At Missouri State, Hinson had consecutive 22-win seasons in 2005-06 and 2006-07, but the lack of NCAA tournament invitations may have cost him his job. ''I was unable to deliver an NCAA tournament berth, and the buck stops with me,'' Hinson said after his firing. ''I am disappointed that we did not accomplish that most of all for the players, fans and supporters of Bears basketball.'' Hinson's Bears teams did have 10 conference wins against the Salukis. Before coaching Missouri State, Hinson compiled a 36-23 record as head coach of Oral Roberts, where he was an assistant coach for four seasons under Bill Self, now the Jayhawks' coach. There had been speculation that Southern Illinois might hire back former Salukis coach Bruce Weber, who was fired earlier this month after nine seasons at Illinois, where his 210-101 record included a national runner-up finish to North Carolina in 2005. Before coaching the Illini, Weber was 103-54 in five seasons at Southern Illinois and he led the Salukis to the NCAA tournament round of 16 in 2002.
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