Southern Miss

Is USM’s basketball coach leaving for Nebraska? Here’s what he had to say.

Reports out of Nebraska indicate that Southern Miss basketball coach Doc Sadler is set to join new Cornhuskers coach Fred Hoiberg’s staff, but Sadler told the Sun Herald on Wednesday that he has no plans to leave at the moment.

Sadler, who was the head coach at Nebraska from 2006-12, acknowledged he has recently had conversations with Hoiberg about his new job with the Cornhuskers.

“Coach Hoiberg and I have visited about a number of people, but my plans as of today are to be the head coach at Southern Miss,” Sadler said. “There is no agreement made to join Fred Hoiberg’s staff.”

The two coaches are friends, and Hoiberg relied on Sadler for information on the Nebraska job before he was hired by the Cornhuskers late last month.

The Lincoln Journal-Star reports that Sadler, Western Kentucky assistant Marc Hsu and two other current Nebraska assistants are under consideration to join Hoiberg’s staff.

A report by cites an unidentified source as saying that Sadler has agreed to return to Nebraska as a full-time assistant and that an announcement is expected in the coming days.

Sadler said that he plans to meet with Jeremy McClain on Thursday as the new USM athletic director goes about the process of familiarizing himself the coaches and their programs before he begins his new job in Hattiesburg no later than July.

McClain, who said Monday that he hopes to arrive at USM on a full-time basis in May, was hired away from Troy last week.

Sadler said that the meeting has nothing to do with the reports of his imminent hiring at Nebraska.

“I’m going to be at our individual workouts (at Southern Miss) in the morning and there are reports out there that I’m already in Lincoln, Nebraska,” he said.

Sadler, who is 56-94 at USM, is coming off his best season at Southern Miss with a record of 20-13 that included a tie for second place in Conference USA, a trip to the C-USA tournament semifinals and a CBI bid.

USM has begun to win more games over the last two years as NCAA sanctions have gradually been lifted. USM endured a postseason ban from 2014-16 and scholarship reductions following the NCAA’s investigation of Donnie Tyndall’s tenure as head coach from 2012-14.

The 2019-20 season will mark the end of scholarship reductions for the USM basketball program.

Sadler, who was also the head coach at UTEP from 2004-06, was 101-89 with three NIT trips during his time at Nebraska.

Patrick Magee is a sports writer who has covered South Mississippi for much of the last two decades. From Southern Miss to high schools, he stays on top of it all.