Ranking the worst college basketball hires of the last century.
In college basketball, there have been some fantastic programs throughout the years. We’ve seen Blue Blood programs do fantastic things, while other teams have made just as many memories throughout time. The success of some of these programs is due to their head coaches and the fantastic efforts those men have put into their schools. On the other hand, it’s just as easy for a program to make a coaching hire that has a negative effect on the school.
There have been some pretty bad coaching hires made over the years, but we’re going to take a closer look at the very worst across time. There’s no formula in calculating which coaches are worse than others, but we’ll be considering everything from on-court performance to off-court issues to the condition these coaches left these programs in at the time of their departures. Without further ado, let’s get right into the list, focus on the twenty-five worst college basketball head coaching hires.
25. Donnie Tyndall – Tennessee (2014-15)
To start things off, you have to look at the big picture of the situation. It would’ve been easy to look just a decade earlier at when Tennessee brought Bruce Pearl aboard, seeing as how his tenure ended in scandal. Even with those NCAA violations, he led the Volunteers to six NCAA Tournaments in six seasons, so it’s hard to call him a bad hire. What happened next was less fortunate, as the Volunteers ran Cuonzo Martin out of town after just three years and despite a surprise run to the Sweet Sixteen in 2014. Just a few weeks later, Tennessee was looking again for a head coach and this time made a mistake.
Donnie Tyndall had bounced around a few schools as an assistant and head coach, having recently spent six years leading his alma mater Morehead State before two years at Southern Miss. Tyndall led Morehead State to a pair of NCAA Tournaments, and a first-round upset in 2011, but the program also spent a few seasons on probation during his tenure. This was the first sign of trouble, but certainly not the last. The fortunate part of this hire was that Tyndall’s backlash didn’t affect the Volunteers very much; they simply fell back on his previous school.
At Southern Miss, a 56-17 mark was wiped away from scandal relating to academic ineligibility and other financial violations. Severe penalties were levied against Tyndall, including a 10-year show cause, preventing him from getting another collegiate coaching job in the near future. Tennessee cut him loose before any of this backlash could fall on the Volunteers, but this hire still appears to be a black eye. Honestly, you can fault both the Volunteers and Southern Miss for this hire, it’s just rough for Tennessee to have two coaches ensconced in a major scandal in less than a decade’s time.