Saturday, June 16, 2012


Ex-KU aide Barry Hinson sets out on coaching comeback at SIU

Kansas center Jeff Withey celebrates with director of basketball operations Barry Hinson after the Jayhawks' 80-67 win over North Carolina to advance to the Final Four on Sunday,  March 25, 2012 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

Kansas center Jeff Withey celebrates with director of basketball operations Barry Hinson after the Jayhawks' 80-67 win over North Carolina to advance to the Final Four on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.


Endless smiles. Quick one-liners. Southern-fried charm. An encouraging word and a drop of wisdom for everyone who crossed his path. Bill Self’s close friend Barry Hinson showed that face to the public during his four years in Lawrence working for the Kansas University athletic department in the wake of his unjust firing by Missouri State.

Now that he’s back in the ranks of head coach, hired March 28 by Southern Illinois University, Hinson reveals that was his poker face Lawrence saw. Behind it, a bruise stretched from head to heart to gut.

“There were probably only three people in Lawrence who knew how much it bothered me and how much it hurt me,” Hinson said by phone from his new office in Carbondale, Ill. “My wife, Angie, coach Self and Cindy Self.”

Hinson didn’t hide his true feelings when interviewed by the SIU search committee charged with finding a replacement for Chris Lowery. After nearly two hours of answering questions, Hinson was asked if he had any himself. He said he had one question and then a statement.

The question: “I’m going to ask you guys if you have any concerns with me because I got fired.”

Hinson said it was quiet until one member said if they had concerns he would not be standing in front of them.

The statement: “I’m not damaged goods. We won at Missouri State. We didn’t have any violations. We graduated our student-athletes. And we had the third-best record in the Missouri Valley (Conference) in my nine years. I’m not damaged goods. If you hire me, you’re going to hire a guy who comes into this conference extremely upset.”

Hinson said he grew very emotional during that point of the interview.

“Later to find out,” he said, “they liked it.”

They also liked that Hinson had the highest academic-progress rate in the conference. SIU athletic director Mario Moccia mentioned a decline in academics first when citing the reasons for Lowery’s dismissal. In every public appearance with his new coach Moccia has cited Hinson’s academic record as the No. 1 reason for his hiring, Hinson said.

“It makes me very proud because that has to be the emphasis,” Hinson said.

NCAA regulations didn’t motivate Hinson to stress life after basketball with his players at Missouri State. The academic progress report penalties weren’t in place when he took the job at Missouri State and began to teach his players the value of saving money and investing it wisely. Some of the Missouri State players, for example, took their housing stipends, invested in property and lived there, instead of renting. By the time they graduated, they already had earned equity and a head start in life.

Heading to their ninth year, the APR rules demonstrate yet again that any attempt to legislate morality is at best flawed. The APR culture makes staying eligible a priority over learning.

Penalties for not meeting established academic-progress rates include postseason bans, which can lead to mass transfers wherein the players don’t have to sit out a year. The players who take care of business in the classroom pay the price of NCAA bans by not getting a shot at participating in a tournament.

If the NCAA insists on keeping the APR in its current form, it ought to punish offending coaches by banning them from postseason participation and, in extreme cases, banning them from coaching an NCAA program for a period of time.

Such matters are for others to sort out. Hinson must play the hand dealt him, and it’s a scary one.

“We’ve got a mess,” Hinson said. “We have major issues on the floor and off the floor that we have to take care of. And we have no margin for error in several of those areas.”

Upon taking the job at SIU, Hinson said he met with his players and told them, “No matter what’s happened before this date, I won’t get mad at you. But these are the guidelines you are going to live by from this day forward and if you mess up on my watch ... ”

He’ll get mad, maybe even kick the offending player off the team.

Hinson took a patient approach to assembling his coaching staff. Associate head coach Tom Hankins had been at Oral Roberts since Hinson, then the school’s head coach, hired him in 1997. Former Kansas State basketball player Anthony Beane, Sr., had been an assistant for Tim Jankovich at Illinois State. Terrance McGee, who played for Hinson at Missouri State, was hired away from Division II Grand Valley State.

Guard Anthony Beane, Jr., a three-star recruit who had received scholarship offers from Iowa and Boston College, will follow his father to SIU. Hinson also recruited Jalen Pendleton, a combo guard and football quarterback from Evansville, Ind.

Hinson, a native of Marlow, Okla. — population 4,950 — won’t draw borders around his recruiting region.

“I’ve even been doing some recruiting in Europe, believe it or not with my accent,” Hinson said.

He won’t be able to recruit the caliber of athletes that he interacted with the past four years at KU — the first two as director of external relations, the next two as director of basketball operations — but he does have a model for a team getting the most out of its talent, and it’s very fresh in his mind.

“This year’s (Kansas) team and this year’s accomplishments would be an example for any corporation, anybody running a business, anybody working with any team or anybody trying to accomplish anything or move forward with anything they do in their daily life,” Hinson said. “Great example.”

If Hinson can find a way to right the listing academic ship without APR penalties kicking in to sink it, the players he recruits will be better for life for having Hinson in their lives. It certainly would be a shame for a rule intended to make basketball players as well-rounded as what they dribble to make it more difficult for Hinson, through no fault of his, to have another successful tenure as a Division I head coach.


John Randall 5 years, 11 months ago

Winning is a big deal, but not as important as HOW you win.

nuleafjhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

Oh - very classy KU62. Way to steal Calipari's motto. Lol.

DDDHawk 5 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for all of your contributions to KU, Coach Hinson! Good luck!

Brian Skelly 5 years, 11 months ago

I was at MSU (then SMSU) for grad school when Hinson was hired. There arent many better people around. He was hired after Alford left for Iowa. That was a blow to a lot of folks at SMSU, but Hinson was the perfect hire for the position, especially after a 'name' guy like Alford (at the time).

He's not a miracle worker. I wouldnt be surprised to see SIU getting back to the top of the MVC (for a school of its size and scope, its actually got a pretty good recruiting base) consistently.

Good luck to him. Maybe we'll throw him a bone with some scheduling.

Jeeveshawk 5 years, 11 months ago

When I first saw Jeff Withey I thought it was Sasha Kaun.

Andrea Hudy must be doing a good job.

RJ King 5 years, 11 months ago

At the end of the North Carolina game - when our victory was certain - the camera captured a wink between Hinson and Townsend on the bench. It was priceless.

jaybate 5 years, 11 months ago

Dear Barry,

Remember what I taught you that I figured out way back at Southern Idaho Juco back in 1966:

~Three impact starters--one perimeter, one big, and a third option where ever you can fit him in.

~Two glue starters on the wings with good treys to stretch the D.

~One enforcer sub to rotate in the paint to keep the "wrong way" guys honest, and being groomed as the impact big for next year.

~One impact sub on a wing being groomed for next year.

~One sound defensive sub on the perimeter who can feed the post.

~Three coaches sons to keep the grades and graduation rates up.

~Defense and protection is a prerequisite to get on the floor and stay on the floor.

~Give away anything but the disruption statistic [(strips + blocks)/TOs] and keep it above one any way you can.

~When in doubt, grind it out.

~Always, always, always take what they give you.


You will be at a major in no time.



jaybate 5 years, 11 months ago

P.S.: Don't smoke, don't drink and don't ever go to Kentucky.

jaybate 5 years, 11 months ago

"...a bruise stretched from head to heart to gut." --Keegs on Barry's pain from firing

Let's be honest here. The pain stretched all the way down to his balls, where the Missouri State AD symbolically kicked him.

Barry Hinson is looking to reassert his manhood.

Watch out MVC.

Salukis manning-up are coming your way.

REHawk 5 years, 11 months ago

After running a quality winning program at SMSU, Hinson was on the receiving end of the big screw. His successor saw the need to jump away from that program at the first opportunity. Bill Self made another typical quality move by bringing Hinson aboard, putting him in place to add solid resume' experience working with the best coach and hoops institution in the land. If SIU is patient, the Salukis are bound to be well rewarded for this hire. From what I have observed, not many such quality hires are available for universities outside the top dozen Div. I basketball programs (and a few of the top 12 are coached by scoundrels).

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