As soon as the first basketball coaching job of any note in the region came open, Southern Miss coach Donnie Tyndall was bound to be mentioned in association with it.
Auburn fired Tony Barbee after four unsuccessful years on the job after losing to South Carolina in the first round of the SEC Tournament on Wednesday.
Several reports mention Tyndall among the potential candidates for the position. Jeff Goodman of ESPN also lists Michael White of Louisiana Tech, former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl and Duke assistant Jeff Capel as names near the top of Auburn's list.
USM is 26-5 headed into today's 7 p.m. game against UTEP in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA Tournament.
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Auburn is not a basketball school and it's hard to believe any coach would consider it a dream job, but there are also a lot of coaches who would listen if Auburn came calling. There have been short stretches where Auburn has competed near the top of the SEC.
Auburn built a nice basketball arena four years ago at a cost of $86 million. The Tigers also have a 14,000-square foot practice facility and weight room.
Auburn also has money, and a lot of it. Barbee made $1.5 million a year there. Tyndall makes $500,000 a year at Southern Miss.
Tyndall likely has the luxury of being patient in looking for a possible next step in his career. He's very popular at Southern Miss and there's no reason to believe that the program will drop off from its current winning ways anytime soon in today's version of Conference USA.
Barbee was in a good situation at UTEP, where he had established one of the better programs in Conference USA. Barbee made $300,000 a year at UTEP, where it wasn't unusual for 10,000 fans to pack Don Haskins Center for home games.
Auburn may be a difficult place to win at, but any successful coach has the confidence that he can turn around nearly any program.
Auburn won't be the first job attached to Tyndall's name in the coming weeks. If Alabama decides to let Anthony Grant go (which I believe would be a mistake), Tyndall's name will also be mentioned there.
Clemson, Wake Forest, Houston and Virginia Tech are also other potential job openings. Of those four schools, Wake Forest might be the most attractive position.
Considering the idea that there won't be that many great jobs coming open this season, Tyndall may be content just staying put.
However, things change and there's the potential of other jobs opening. It's also difficult to turn down an offer to triple your current salary.
However, things change and there's the potential of other jobs coming open. It's also difficult to turn down an offer to triple your current salary.