For the first time since being fired by Tennessee in 2015, Donnie Tyndall is a head basketball coach.
“Went through some tough times for 4 or 5 years,” Tyndall told WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “When you’re at your dream job, things don’t work out the way you hoped and so you just try to scrap and claw and be resilient.”
The former Southern Miss head coach, who’s currently in the midst of a 10-year NCAA coaching ban, is trying to rebuild his career as the head coach of the Grand Rapids Drive (Detroit Pistons G League affiliate).
“I know it’s not easy. There’s only 30 teams. So obviously if you’re an NBA head coach you’re one of a very, very select few group of people. But that’s the goal. I’ve always been one of those guys…to shoot for the stars. If I don’t reach it, I don’t reach it. But that’s the plan, and that’s the goal right now.”
In April of 2016 The NCAA imposed a 10-year show-cause penalty on Tyndall – tied for the longest ever imposed on a head coach, for violations centering around improper financial aid and academic misconduct at Southern Miss.
Tyndall was the head coach at Southern Miss from 2012 to 2014. The Golden Eagles went 56-17 during that time, but in 2016 the NCAA vacated all 56 wins due to academic fraud.