Wednesday, May 7, 2008
For nine seasons, Barry Hinson coached one of the most successful basketball programs in the Missouri Valley Conference. But despite his success (which included consecutive 22-win seasons in 2005/06 and 2006/07, top-40 RPI ratings both seasons and four consecutive trips to the N.I.T.), Hinson's Missouri State teams never got invited to the NCAA Tournament. And that ultimately cost Hinson his job.
In March, Missouri State fired Barry Hinson. Shortly thereafter, Cuonzo Martin was hired to replace Hinson.
But despite no longer being employed by Missouri State, Barry Hinson has stayed in Springfield, MO. And remarkably, he's been helping Martin -- his replacement -- as Martin transitions into his first head coaching job.
What's more, Hinson recently attended -- and spoke at -- Missouri State's basketball banquet, despite no longer being Missouri State's basketball coach.
Barry Hinson is a very good basketball coach. A former Junior College coach, he's paid his dues and then some: he rose from the bottom of the profession to prominence at Oral Roberts and then at Missouri State.
But coaching prowess aside, Coach Hinson is a class act. And that's a rarity in the business of college basketball.
Here's to hoping that Hinson lands on his feet.