University of Tennessee vice chancellor and director of athletics Dave Hart announced Tuesday the hiring of Donnie Tyndall as the Volunteers' 19th men's basketball coach.
Tyndall is a 1993 Morehead State graduate.
The 43-year-old Tyndall joins Tennessee from Southern Mississippi, where he posted a 56-17 record (.767) in two seasons. He has averaged more than 21 wins during his eight seasons as a head coach with an overall record of 170-102 (.625), including six seasons at his alma mater, Morehead State, from 2006-07 through 2011-12. Tyndall played at MSU from 1990-93.
Attendance at Southern Miss home games rose 23 percent in Tyndall's first season. And in his second year in Hattiesburg, season-ticket sales saw an additional spike of more than 20 percent.
"I am humbled, appreciative, and thankful for this tremendous opportunity," said Tyndall. "We have great tradition at the University of Tennessee and with our men's basketball program, and we will work tirelessly to take our program to new heights."
In 2006, Tyndall took over a Morehead State program that finished 4-23 the previous year. He improved the Eagles' record in each of his first five seasons and led the school to 20-win seasons from 2008-11. MSU had reached the 20-win mark just twice in its history before his arrival.
His first Morehead State team tripled its win total from the previous year. And in year two, despite being picked to finish 10th in the OVC, MSU finished third in the conference, earning him OVC Coach of the Year acclaim.
The Eagles' trajectory skyrocketed during the 2008-09 season, as Tyndall led his alma mater to a 20-16 finish, an OVC championship and the program's first NCAA Tournament berth since 1984. Morehead State defeated Alabama State before falling to Louisville in the second round.
Tyndall followed that effort with a 24-win season in 2009-10 and then a 25-win campaign in 2010-11. The 2011 team, led by first-round NBA Draft pick and current Denver Nuggets star Kenneth Faried, captured the second OVC title of Tyndall's tenure. Tyndall was once again tabbed as the NABC District Coach of the Year, and the 13th-seeded Eagles shocked Rick Pitino's fourth-seeded Louisville Cardinals in the second round of NCAA Tournament.
A native of Grand Rapids, Mich., Tyndall earned his bachelor's degree from Morehead State in 1993 and received his master's degree from LSU in 2000.
He has two daughters: Taylor Elise and Grace Elizabeth, and is engaged to Nikki Young.