OT: Tennessee fires Donnie Tyndall, Rick Barnes expected to take job

Submitted by UMxWolverines on March 30th, 2015 at 4:24 PM

Did anybody even hear about this? I haven't watched much TV the last few days but I don't remember seeing anything about either one being fired on the blog. 


Tennessee fired Tyndall after recruiting violations during his time at Southern Miss surfaced. 

Barnes' 17 year run at Texas also ended. Many would consider his tenure as underachieving and I would agree. 

But 247 is reporting that Tennessee will hire Barnes possibly by tonight. 


It also appears that Texas' version of Dave Brandon in Steve Patteson is still going strong as it is believed that Patterson leaked to the media that if Barnes didn't make staff changes he would be fired. Patterson also didn't attend the press conference. 



Stringer Bell

March 30th, 2015 at 4:29 PM ^

I also read (on Burnt Orange Nation, I think) that Eric Davis is likely gonna reevaluate his commitment to Texas.  Makes sense, but this could be another potential avenue.  Top 50 player from Michigan, not sure how both Michigan and MSU let him get away.

Stringer Bell

March 30th, 2015 at 5:57 PM ^

He had offers from Baylor, Georgetown, Iowa, Iowa State, Illinois, Florida, obviously Michigan and MSU, OSU, Kansas, UCLA.  Also held interest from Kentucky and Duke.  That's a pretty impressive offer list and is definitely befitting of a Top 50 player.


March 30th, 2015 at 6:06 PM ^

Saw him play twice this weekend at Breslin and find it hard to believe he is in the top 100. Looked like an average (at best) shooter, got to the rim several times but couldn't finish and had a lot of dumb turnovers and fouls. Definitely a volume scorer and not even the best player on his team.


March 30th, 2015 at 6:40 PM ^

not quite saying Davis is Brundige, but there are similarities.  Both were considered the studs of their class when they were sophomores--with a downward trajectory thereafter*.  Players like that tend to retain recruiting numbers higher than they deserve in their senior year.   Brundige was also offered by both MSU and U of M; he was even considered a coup for us.  He hardly played at UDM this year.  Davis, again like Brundige, isn't a particularly good outside shooter.

*[Bowen (a sophomore) was clearly the star of the Arthur Hill team this year.]  


March 30th, 2015 at 5:36 PM ^

That job has really become a revolving door.  Strange that their next move is to hire Barnes, who not only has a reputation as an underachiever, but is nearing retirement age.


March 30th, 2015 at 6:38 PM ^

UTenn fans loved Bruce Pearl.  Cuonzo Martin's problem (even with a Sweet  16 showing) was that he wasn't Bruce Pearl.  Now Martin is on the verge of having a killer recruiting year at Cal.

Barnes is a questionable tactician, but he is a big name who likely will continue to be able to recruit.


March 30th, 2015 at 7:07 PM ^

Cuonzo Martin's problem (even with a Sweet 16 showing) was that he wasn't Bruce Pearl.

Exactly this.  Maybe Tennessee targeted Barnes because as an established, successful coach he isn't going to be bothered about Not Being Bruce Pearl, unlike Cuonzo Martin who clearly wasn't comfortable being in Pearl's shadow.


March 30th, 2015 at 6:43 PM ^

Cool now Barnes can be mediocre at Tennessee. 

Seems like the Southern Miss. violations were mostly an excuse to get rid of Tyndall for a subpar season. 


March 30th, 2015 at 7:18 PM ^

People here seem to think Texas is a way better job than it is.  Barnes took them to their only Final Four since the 1940's.  He went to the Elite Eight three times in total (UT had gone one other time since the 1940's prior to his arrival).  He made the tourney 16 times in 17 years, and got to at least the Sweet Sixteen roughly a third of the time.  Before that he took Clemson to the Sweet Sixteen for only the third time in their history.

Obviously the guy is a victim of his own success and expectations that don't necessarily jive with reality.  The odds the next guy in Austin does any better than Barnes are pretty low.

Steve in PA

March 30th, 2015 at 8:30 PM ^

I think Texas will be a plum job.  The historic football program is down right now so the buzz generated by a good basketball will be readily embraced.  Almost like what Michigan went through with JB's hiring.

I looked at the list of underachieving coaches.  Jamie Dixon along with Barnes are two coaches to never take in the tournament and stats bear it out.  I talked myself into Villanova this year and paid for it.   I see Jay Wright deservedly on there with the other two.

snarling wolverine

March 31st, 2015 at 6:38 AM ^

Texas is the flagship school of a state of 25 million people and has enormous resources.  It can justifiably expect to be very good in most sports.   I don't know why they weren't better pre-Barnes (not enough emphasis on basketball?) but there is no particular reason to believe they can't be a power program now.

Barnes's tenure from 1998-2008 was good, but over the last seven years there was a noticeable downturn in performance.   He never won more than one game in the tourney from 2008-15, and had three seasons of .500 or worse in league play in the last four.   



March 30th, 2015 at 7:38 PM ^

Barnes will make them a very competitive team in a pretty weak SEC.  I mean, UK will always be a scary, if inconsistent, monster.  Florida should bounce back, but then I don't see why UT can't be #3 in that conference.

Perkis-Size Me

March 31st, 2015 at 12:09 AM ^

Tennessee is a revolving door for anything not associated with the women's basketball team. Honestly, how many football/basketball coaches have they gone through over the last 5-10 years?

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March 31st, 2015 at 4:57 AM ^

Barnes is a pretty solid coach. I think Barnes will stabilize the vols, but if I were a UT fan, I would prefer some young blood to bing some much needed energy to the program.


March 31st, 2015 at 6:46 AM ^

The more interesting hire is, who will Texas get?  There are coaches that I would see as a definite upgrade to Barnes, but once you exclude the ones who would almost certainly never take that job, there's not a lot of names on that list.


March 31st, 2015 at 7:58 AM ^

Gregg Marshall and (surprise!) Shaka Smart are the two names being mentioned the most, although Alabama is apparently going after Marshall pretty hard.  From this Dallas Morning News article, other potential names include Larry Krystkowiak of Utah, Chris Mack of Xavier, and even Jay Wright of Villanova (doubtful on that one). Pertinent section here:

Two sources cautioned that the contact might not signal that Smart was the final candidate. No one quite knows what direction Texas athletic director Steve Patterson will pursue in what is viewed as a top-10 college job.

If Smart turns down Texas, CBS reported the Longhorns are likely to turn their attention to Utah's Larry Krystkowiak and Xavier's Chris Mack. Villanova's Jay Wright could be another possibility. Former NBA coaches like Avery Johnson, John Lucas and Mike Dunleavy have expressed an interest in the job, with Lucas and Johnson having strong contacts in the state. Patterson’s father, Ray, drafted Lucas when he ran the Houston Rockets.

And what about Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall?

The search, which is officially less than two days old, began on a wacky Monday with the focus on Marshall as the top Texas target. The narrative changed quickly when Alabama athletic director Bill Battle landed by school plane in Wichita, Kan., and spent eight hours before departing alone. Broadcast reports indicated Alabama might be willing to pay Marshall upward of $4 million, more than double his current salary of $1.85 million.


March 31st, 2015 at 11:44 AM ^

I don't see a scenario where Marshall picks  Alabama over Texas.  Texas has Bill Gates money plus a semblance of a historic program and an in-state recruiting base.  I think texas will get a big name or a hot young guy of its choosing.

Powderd Toast

March 31st, 2015 at 7:36 AM ^

Tennessee is one hell of a scummy program. I give it two years tops before they replace this coach for "issues". I lived in Knoxville for my middle school and high school years and can attest to Vol fans being some of the worst fans in the world. They truly value winning over all else.

Except for women's basketball. Somehow they play second or third fiddle to the football and/or the men's basketball programs despite their insane amount of wins.


March 31st, 2015 at 9:04 AM ^

Chris Mullin has agreed to become the new head coach of St. John's, his alma mater.  It's quite a leap as while he's been a front office guy for the Warriors and Kings. he has no coaching experience.


I'm trying to think of another coach with no prior experience that jumped into a "major" conference job like this and am coming up blank.

Avon Barksdale

March 31st, 2015 at 12:16 PM ^

They couldn't have done much better. Barnes gets a lot of critisism around here, but the fact is he has won 604 games. He's been deep into the tournament a couple of times. That's all Tennessee basketball is about - get to the tournament - win a game or two - occasional sweet 16 and their fan base is happy.