ST. LOUIS -- Shortly after Southern Illinois lost its men's basketball game to Northern Iowa in the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament on Friday, 16-year league veteran coach Barry Hinson announced during a press conference that he would "step away" as head coach of SIU's program.
Coach Hinson's postgame statement:
"I've been coaching 38 years and I've been blessed to be a part of this conference for 16 years, and there's nobody that loves the Valley more than I do. Each and every venue that I've ever coached in has just been outstanding. I got to serve nine years in Springfield, Missouri. It started off as Southwest Missouri and I was the last coach at Southwest Missouri and the first coach at Missouri State. I got a second chance to come back to the Valley when Mario Moccia hired me to be the basketball coach at Southern Illinois -- just a great program, tradition-rich program.
"Last March, the Chancellor (the late Carlo Montegmagno) -- we made a pact that if we didn't go to the NIT or the NCAA, then it would be time for me to step away. I've had the most enjoyable year, believe it or not, being around these young men and being around my current athletic director Jerry Kill. I couldn't be more excited right now for Saluki Athletics than what I am, because I know where it's headed, I know who's running the ship now, and I know we've had a lot of issues on campus and in Carbondale, but those issues are getting ready to go away. If you quote me on one thing,
"I'd like you to quote me on this -- I am so sorry that we couldn't get back to the Tournament. It's haunted me my entire life. But I'm a man of faith. My dad taught me a long time ago, 'I know not what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future.' I've made great friends, and these coaches in this league that I've made over these 16 years will be lifelong friends. The players that I've coached against and the players that I've had the opportunity to coach, and I've had the opportunity to work under one of the greatest conference commissioners that a guy could work under. I've been so blessed. I've been so blessed.
"I've had tragedy in my life, and every time I've had it, somebody in the conference or the coaching community or the fans have rallied behind my family. But I want to thank you for giving me 16 wonderful years in this conference and I'll do anything I can to help it in the future. But it's time. It's time for me to step away. Thank you."
Hinson, 57, compiled a 116-111 record in seven seasons at SIU, including a 60-66 mark in MVC games. His best finish came in 2018, when the Salukis placed second during the regular season with an 11-7 record and advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament. Southern did not make a postseason tournament appearance during his tenure.
Hinson mentored five All-Conference players at Southern -- Desmar Jackson, Anthony Beane Jr., Sean O'Brien, Armon Fletcher and Kavion Pippen. He also coached the program's first Academic All-American since 2008 -- Marcus Bartley. The last 15 seniors who exhausted their athletic eligibility during Hinson's tenure earned their degrees.
From 2000-08, Hinson coached at Missouri State, compiling a 169-117 record. His teams made four NIT appearances but were among the bubble teams that did not make the NCAA Tournament in 2006 and 2007.
He stands fourth all-time in overall wins (285) in MVC history.