Apr 112012
 
Authors: Kevin Lytle

Update: The new coach will be introduced at a 4 p.m. press conference on Friday at Moby Arena. There will be a live chat of the event at Collegian.com.

Southern Mississippi’s Larry Eustachy is set to be named CSU’s next basketball coach, according to multiple sources.

Both ESPN’s Andy Katz and CBSSports.com’s Garry Parrish are reporting that Eustachy has been hired by CSU.

Officials inside the athletic department could not confirm the hiring when reached for comment.

Eustachy replaces Tim Miles who left CSU to take the head job at Nebraska a little more than three weeks ago.

Eustachy saw his national profile skyrocket as the coach of Iowa State when he took the Cyclones to the Elite 8 in the 1999-00 season. But his time at Iowa State came to an end in 2003 when was photographed at a party drinking beers with college-aged women. The same report by the Des Moines Register reported that he had also been seen at a fraternity party earlier that year.

He was suspended without pay and the athletic director recommended that he be fired for violating the morals clause in his contract. Eustachy at first said he would fight the suspension, but he eventually resigned from the position.

The announcement of his hiring comes after about a 24-hour period where the rumor mill went wild.

Numerous reports around the country on Tuesday night said former Oregon coach Ernie Kent had reached an agreement to replace Miles. That was then countered by the athletics department, which said the search was still continuing.

The 56-year-old first entered coaching as an assistant at Citrus Community College in 1978. His first head coaching job was at Idaho University, beginning in 1990.

Eustachy inherits a team that went 20-12 in the 2011-12 season and made its first NCAA Tournament since 2003. The Rams graduated two players from that squad, forward Will Bell and guard Kaipo Sabas, and another, freshman guard Cody Mann, has said he will transfer.

But those losses don’t change the fact that CSU will have a lineup full of talent and experience next season. The Rams have their top four scorers coming back and the returning players accounted for 82 percent of the teams’ points last year.

CSU also adds two highly touted transfers, Colton Iverson and Daniel Bejarano, who sat out the past season due to NCAA regulations.

It will be Eustachy’s job to continue to carry the momentum that saw CSU earn its first at-large Tournament berth since 1990.

After resigning from the Iowa State position Eustachy was out of coaching for a year. Then in 2004 he was hired as the coach at Southern Mississippi. Eustachy went 142-113 in eight seasons at Southern Miss, taking the Golden Eagles to the NCAA Tournament this past season where they lost to Kansas State in their opening game.

Southern Miss played at CSU at Moby Arena on Nov. 19, beating the Rams 79-58. It was CSU’s only home loss of the season.

The hiring of Eustachy marks the second coaching job filled by Jack Graham since he was named athletic director on Dec. 1, 2011. On Dec. 4 he fired football coach Steve Fairchild and named Jim McElwain as his replacement on Dec. 13.

Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Lytle can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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