Salukis advance to the semifinals of the MVC Tournament for the first time since 2007.
Salukis finish tied for fourth place and will be the No. 6 seed and play Northern Iowa next Friday night at 8:35 p.m.
Hinson will coach team in Thursday's game versus Wichita State
In just his second season at the helm of Southern Illinois, Barry Hinson turned the last-place Salukis into the fourth-place team in the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference standings. It marked the biggest leap in the standings in school history, and he was recognized as runner-up for MVC Coach of the Year to Wichita State's Gregg Marshall.
Barry Hinson finished 2nd in the voting for MVC Coach of the Year in 2014, after finishing third in 2013.
The Salukis won eight of their last 12 games in 2014 and fans were so energized by the resurgence of the program that the final home game featured the first sell-out of SIU Arena in six years. The Salukis also advanced to the semifinals of the MVC Tournament for the first time in seven years.
Hinson, the winningest active coach in the MVC with 197 victories, inherited a program at Southern Illinois that went 8-23 in 2012 and improved that mark to 14-17 in 2013. Although SIU finished 10th in the league standings with a 6-12 mark, Hinson placed third in the voting for Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year, the highest finish ever for the coach of a last-place MVC team.
Hinson won over the fan base with his likable, no-nonsense, common-man demeanor. He kept a positive outlook after the team began conference play with a 1-10 record. On Feb. 5, the Salukis snapped a six-game losing streak by beating No. 22 Wichita State for their first win over a ranked opponent since 2008. That victory was the first of six wins in the team's final eight regular-season games. After the season, Hinson was rewarded with a one-year contract extension that will keep him at SIU through the 2017-18 season.
Southern Illinois University Director of Athletics Mario Moccia named Hinson as the school's new men's basketball head coach during a press conference on March 28, 2012. Hinson became just the 13th head coach in the 99-year history of the program.
Hinson, 52, served four years on Bill Self's staff at the University of Kansas from 2008-12. The Jayhawks were one of the nation's premier programs during that four-year span with a combined 107-21 record and a trip to the National Championship game in 2012.
Prior to Kansas, Hinson was the head coach at Missouri State for nine seasons. While at Missouri State, he guided the Bears to a 169-117 record (.591) with postseason NIT teams in 2000, 2005, 2006 and 2007. His 2006 squad was left out of the NCAA Tournament with a 21 RPI. That club went on to win NIT games over Stanford and Houston.
"Barry Hinson comes from a great tradition, and he has an excellent record of graduating his student-athletes and winning games," said Moccia.
Although Southern Illinois dominated the Missouri Valley Conference by winning six-straight championships from 2002 to 2007, Hinson's Bears beat Southern 10 times -- more than any other conference school during his nine-year tenure. The Bears had three 20-win seasons under Hinson and advanced to the finals of the MVC Tournament three times. Twenty-three of Hinson's 26 players who completed their eligibility as seniors for the Bears received undergraduate degrees from Missouri State. Thirteen of Hinson's players went on to play professionally overseas.
"I'm genuinely excited to be the head coach at a university with a great tradition in college basketball, and even more excited to be part of a community which seems so much like the place where I was raised," said Hinson, a native of Marlow, Okla.
Hinson spent eight years as a high school coach in Oklahoma before landing a college job on Self's staff at Oral Roberts in 1993. Four years later, he took over for Self at ORU and produced records of 19-12 and 17-11 in two years as head coach and tied for two Mid-Continent Conference regular-season titles.
Hinson and his wife, Angie, have two daughters, Tiffany and Ashley, and a grandson, Carter. He is the son of Tiffany and Niles Thomason, who passed away on Christmas Day, 2013.
What they are saying about Barry Hinson
Bill Self, University of Kansas, Men's Basketball Head Coach
"I have never been around a more positive, energetic, unselfish person. He is loyal, ethical and can coach and recruit. He also is a GREAT...not good public speaker -- probably got that from his father, a Baptist minister. I love the guy. The community, administration, staff and players will also in Carbondale. Barry Hinson gets it and will be a great person to work with and build the Southern Illinois basketball program."
Roy Williams, University of North Carolina, Men's Basketball Head Coach
"Barry will do an absolutely great job at Southern Illinois. He is an outstanding person, wonderful personality, and great enthusiasm for the game. He will get the Southern Illinois people fired up and his teams will be extremely organized and play extremely hard. I think it is a great marriage."
Doug Elgin, Missouri Valley Conference, Commissioner
"Barry Hinson is an exceptional basketball coach and teacher, and a proven program builder. He's been successful at every coaching stop in his career. Coach Hinson is a man of great integrity and high character, he has recruited exceptionally well, and he has a track record of graduating an extremely high percentage of his student-athletes. I compliment the Search Committee, athletics director Mario Moccia and Chancellor Rita Cheng for making a tremendous hire. I have absolutely no doubt that Barry Hinson will return the Saluki basketball program to prominence."
Doug Gottleib, ESPN Analyst
"Barry Hinson brings class, passion and a unique knowledge of how to win in the Missouri Valley Conference that few coaches possess. In coaching hires, a key ingredient in success or failure is fit, and Barry Hinson fits SIU and Carbondale perfectly. I expect the winning culture of Saluki basketball to return with Barry Hinson at the helm."
Andy Katz, ESPN.com
"(Barry Hinson) revived his career while working for Bill Self at Kansas. Hinson knows the Valley as well as any coach in the conference. He didn't suddenly forget how to recruit or coach after his absence from the bench. This should be an immediate hit in Carbondale and will help the Salukis get back to being a highly competitive team."