Southern Miss

Southern Miss rewards basketball coach for taking a significant step forward

Southern Miss head coach Doc Sadler led his team to a 16-18 mark during the 2017-18 season.
Southern Miss head coach Doc Sadler led his team to a 16-18 mark during the 2017-18 season. Special to the Sun Herald

Doc Sadler has been rewarded after his team took a significant step forward in his fourth year on the job at Southern Miss.

USM athletic director Jon Gilbert told the Sun Herald Wednesday night that he will allow the basketball coach’s contract to roll over for another year, giving him three years remaining on his contract.

Gilbert chose not to extend Sadler’s contract last year, mainly because he had been on the job as athletic director for a short period of time and didn’t have enough time to fully evaluate the men’s basketball program.

Sadler, who makes $350,000 a year, signed a four-year contract when he was hired in 2014 and that deal had been allowed to roll over after his first two seasons.

Sadler is 36-81 at Southern Miss, but the Golden Eagles have seen their win total increase with each season.

Gilbert said Wednesday night that he was encouraged by the progress that the basketball team showed this season and is upbeat about the future of the program.

The high point of the 2017-18 season came in the Conference USA tournament in Frisco, Texas, when the Golden Eagles stunned No. 1 seed Middle Tennessee 71-68 in the quarterfinals.

Marshall, which won the C-USA tournament, ended USM’s season in the semifinals in an 85-75 contest.

USM is still dealing NCAA sanctions that were handed down due to the conduct of former coach Donnie Tyndall and his staff from 2012-14. Tyndall is under a 10-year show-cause penalty from the NCAA and currently works as an assistant in the NBA G-League.

USM had 11 scholarship players during the 2017-18 season, but just nine were eligible to play. Sadler typically played eight scholarship players and a senior walk-on in D’Angelo Richardson.

USM has two years of probation remaining and one more year of not being at full scholarships. The Golden Eagles will be down one scholarship player in 2018-19. There is a 13-scholarship limit in Division I basketball.

The Golden Eagles showed marked improvement during the 2017-18 campaign with a record of 16-18.

Sadler, who also served as head coach at UTEP and Nebraska, has a career record of 183-183.

Patrick Magee: 228-896-2333, @Patrick_Magee