/Sadler earned his Southern Miss keep – then some

Sadler earned his Southern Miss keep – then some

Jeremy McClain, the new athletic director, will face a tough task in finding a better coach for basketball than Sadler. He announced his resignation on Thursday. Sadler will be heading to Nebraska as an associate coach for Fred Hoiberg. This move will cause a lot of people to shake their heads. To become an assistant, you can quit your job as a head coach. That’s not something you see very often. This leads to the question: Why? Number one, job security. Sadler would not say this publicly but close friends claim that he didn’t feel the USM administration had his back. He loves Lincoln, Neb. where he worked previously. He has worked before with Hoiberg at Iowa State, and they get along well. Hoiberg signed a $25 million, seven-year contract. This is job security. Sadler’s teams won, for the record. His tenure saw him win 9, 8, 9, 16, and 20 victories. Tim Floyd, a Hattiesburg native, believes that Sadler could have been named Conference USA Coach Of The Year in any of the four previous seasons. Floyd, who was formerly the coach of two NBA teams described the situation well after hearing the news. Floyd stated that Doc should be proud of the achievements at Southern Miss. “I believe Doc Sadler at Southern Miss, and Scott Drew at Baylor, have inherited the worst two situations that a head coach can inherit over the past 30+ years of college basketball. Both did incredible jobs. His program was subject to NCAA investigation for the first two years of his tenure. It was the reason that players quit the program. It was used against him by other coaches in recruiting. There were also scholarship restrictions. This, along with the fact that Southern Miss had one of the lowest basketball budgets in Conference USA, was another reason. Doc should be proud of his accomplishments, which included finishing second in a league with more basketball traditions and larger budgets. He found a way to play that would allow lesser-talented teams to win at home as well as on the road. He should be proud of what he accomplished. “I know I would.” I would also add that Sadler remained on an even keel, despite the many problems he had inherited. He actually had a great sense of humor. When it was clear that Sadler was turning around the program, the 16-victory 2017-18 seasons, I asked him if there was any light at the end. (Yes, I will use a well-placed cliché when it fits. The folksy Sadler replied, “Yeah I can see some light, but I’m like Lou Holtz.” “I can see some light but, Dude. I hope that the light’snnot coming from another train. Bottom line: Sadler did an amazing job. Many people, including Southern Miss fans, and the school administration, have not appreciated how great a job Sadler did. McClain has been invited to Hattiesburg to begin the process of finding a new coach for basketball. This is important: McClain has had plenty of experience hiring coaches in recent months. He has hired a new coach for football and a new coach for basketball at Troy in the past few months. He confirmed that he had a list of potential candidates. McClain stated, “You should always have a list in you back pocket because you never know,” “I have only been through the Troy process. I have a list of things I need to do and I need it done quickly. This is especially true in basketball college athletics where time is a crucial factor in hiring. This is possible because of the relaxed transfer rules. The first task of the new coach will be to re-recruit talented young players who are already on the team. It’s not always simple. McClain was in Southern Miss at the time Doc was hired. He is well aware of the dire situation. McClain stated that Doc should be commended. He also said this during the press conference. He has turned a difficult situation into a positive one. He gave us solid grounding to build on the success from this season.”