Sources have confirmed to The Dispatch that former MSU coach Rick Stansbury (above) has "no interest" in current opening at Southern Mississippi. Photo by: Mississippi State athletics
April 23, 2014 12:30:28 PM
STARKVILLE -- Rick Stansbury has heard and seen what he calls "untrue reports" of his name surfacing for the current opening at Southern Mississippi. The former Mississippi State confirmed to The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog Wednesday afternoon he will not be pursuing the current opening with the Golden Eagles program.
The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog reported the news earlier Wednesday via multiple sources close to the situation former Mississippi State men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury was not involved in the current opening at Southern Mississippi.
Sources close to Stansbury and the search process at USM confirmed Wednesday the Bulldogs all-time leader in wins "has no interest" in replacing the departed Donnie Tyndall with the Golden Eagles program. Stansbury's name was floated by several media outlets for the opening at Auburn before Bruce Pearl was hired by the Tigers this past month.
Stansbury reaffirmed this knowledge with The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog that his interest in becoming the next coach at USM doesn't exist.
"I have no interest in Southern Miss," Stansbury said Wednesday afternoon. "It is not the right fit for me no matter what other reports have said."
Tyndall was introduced as Tennessee's next men's basketball head coach Tuesday after agreeing to a deal that A CBSSports.com reported was for six years at $1.6 million per year. Tyndall went 56-17 overall (25-7 in Conference USA play) and reached the NIT quarterfinals in both of his final two seasons at Southern Miss. Prior to coming to Southern Miss, Tyndall was the head coach at Morehead State, his alma mater, for six seasons where he upset No. 4 seed Louisville in the NCAA tournament.
CBSSports.com College Basketball Insider Gary Parrish reported Wednesday USM may be highly interested in Stephen F. Austin head coach Brad Underwood to replace Tyndall in Hattiesburg. Underwood went 32-3 overall and 18-0 in the Southland Conference in his first season as a Division 1 head coach. Stephen F. Austin advanced to the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament by defeating Virginia Commonwealth in its opening game. Parrish also reported Stansbury as a backup candidate for USM and CBSSports.com sources confirmed his interest in the Golden Eagles opening. Stansbury clearly refuted that report about his interest in the opening.
"I have already seen reports where I'm highly interested in USM job," Stansbury said. "I don't know where they got it from. It's not the truth."
After a disappointing end to the 2011-12 season for the MSU program, Stansbury officially announced his retirement on March 15, 2012 citing a desire to spend more time with his family. Since that retirement he has not interviewed for a current opening with a Division 1 school.
Stansbury, now 54 years old, compiled a 293-165 record, at the time the ninth-most wins in Southeastern Conference history. MSU reached the postseason in 11 of Stansbury's 14 years (six NCAA Tournament; five NIT), but has never reached the Sweet 16. However the last two seasons were the most troublesome as they included teammates fighting each other in the stands, discipline issues and no NCAA Tournament appearances.
Stansbury, who served at MSU as either an assistant or head coach for 22 years, accepted a retirement package through the university where the details were not made public.
After the conclusion of the 2009-10 season, Stansbury was approached and offered a contract close to $2 million per year by Clemson administration. Last week Stansbury told The Dispatch his decision to turn down the offer "had nothing to do with basketball".
"I made a decision two years ago and (people) couldn't believe why I was staying," Stansbury said. "The same reasons still exist today. My love for this university and my love for you people."
Stansbury acknowledged during his retirement press conference he wasn't sure if he'd be making the decision to walk away if MSU could've salvaged the 2011-12 season into the school's first at-large berth in the NCAA tournament since 2008. He also left the door at least slightly open to the potential possibility of him returning to coaching at some point in his career.
"I can tell you this - it's not about being tired....you see guys spend their whole lives at universities and they leave so negative (and) I don't want to do that," Stansbury said. "I want to go out while we're still great. Meo and I are 100 percent at peace."
All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.