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Donald Joseph Tyndall (born June 14, 1970) is an American basketball coach currently working as the head coach for the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA G League.

Donnie Tyndall
Donnie Tyndall in 2013.jpg
Tyndall in 2013 as Southern Miss coach.
Grand Rapids Drive
PositionHead coach
LeagueNBA G League
Personal information
Born (1970-06-14) June 14, 1970 (age 49)
Ravenna, Michigan
Career information
High schoolAcademy of the Holy Angels
Coaching career1994–present
Career history
As coach:
1994–1996Iowa Central CC (assistant)
1996–1997St. Catharine JC
1997–2001LSU (assistant)
2001–2002Idaho (associate HC)
2002–2006Middle Tennessee (associate HC)
2006–2012Morehead State
2012–2014Southern Miss
2016–2018Raptors 905 (assistant)
2018–2019Grand Rapids Drive (assistant)
2019–presentGrand Rapids Drive
Career highlights and awards

His teams are known for pressing and playing an unconventional match-up zone, a highly successful variation of the defensive system employed by coach Rick Pitino at Louisville.[1]

Coaching careerEdit

As an assistant / Junior College head coachEdit

After graduating from Morehead State University in 1993, Tyndall began coaching at the junior college level. From 1994 to 1996, he was assistant coach at Iowa Central Community College. Tyndall had his first head coaching position in the 1996–97 season at St. Catharine College in Springfield, Kentucky. Tyndall led St. Catharine to a 30–5 record and the school's first-ever NJCAA tournament appearance. In 1997, Tyndall earned NJCAA Region 7 National Coach of the Year and Kentucky Junior College Coach of the Year honors.[2]

After his season at St. Catharine, Tyndall got his first NCAA Division I coaching position as an assistant at LSU under John Brady, a position he would hold from 1997 to 2001.[2] Tyndall helped LSU finish first in the SEC West Division in the 1999–00 season and make the Sweet 16 round of the 2000 NCAA Tournament.[3] This LSU team also featured Stromile Swift, the #2 pick in the 2000 NBA draft.

In the 2001–02 season, Tyndall served as associate head coach at Idaho under Leonard Perry.

From 2002 to 2006, Tyndall was associate head coach at Middle Tennessee under Kermit Davis. Middle Tennessee had winning seasons all four of those seasons.[2]

Morehead State (2006-2012)Edit

In his first Division I head coaching job, Tyndall served as head coach at his alma mater Morehead State from 2006 to 2012. Morehead State under Tyndall won the Ohio Valley Conference tournaments of 2009 and 2011 and earned automatic NCAA Tournament bids those years. Morehead State also made the 2010 College Basketball Invitational.

In August 2010, the NCAA placed Morehead State on two years' probation for violations by boosters.[4] As a #13 seed, Morehead State upset #4 seed Louisville 62-61 in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament.[5]

Southern Miss (2012-2014)Edit

Tyndall was the head coach at the Southern Miss from 2012 to 2014. Southern Miss made the National Invitation Tournament in 2013 and 2014 and finished first in Conference USA standings for the 2013–14 season. Tyndall went 56–17 as head coach at Southern Miss, but in 2016, the NCAA vacated all 56 wins due to academic fraud.[6]

Tennessee (2014-2015)Edit

On April 22, 2014, Tyndall was hired as head basketball coach at the University of Tennessee, after spending the previous two seasons as the head basketball coach at Southern Miss.[2]

On March 27, 2015, Tennessee fired Tyndall after the NCAA notified Tennessee officials of possible major violations at Southern Miss. The violations centered around improper financial aid for two players, as well as academic problems with junior college transfers.[4] According to a copy of Tyndall's termination letter, Tyndall had lied to Tennessee officials about the extent of the violations on several occasions, and had also deleted several emails from an old email account dating to his time at Morehead State even though he was aware he would have been questioned about activity on that account by the NCAA.[7][8] Athletics director Dave Hart said that in all likelihood, Tyndall would have faced significant discipline from the NCAA for his role in the violations at Southern Miss. Former coach Bruce Pearl had been slapped with an eight-game suspension during what proved to be his final season in Knoxville for major recruiting violations, and Tennessee didn't want a repeat of that experience. Hart said that he would have never hired Tyndall had the true extent of the violations at Southern Miss been known.[4]

On April 8, 2016, the NCAA imposed a 10-year show-cause penalty on Tyndall, to run until April 7, 2026 – tied for the longest ever imposed on a head coach.[9] This means that any NCAA member school that wants to hire him during this period will have to "show cause" for why it shouldn't be sanctioned for doing so, and could incur severe penalties if he commits another violation during this time. It also stipulates that any penalties imposed on Tyndall will follow him to any NCAA member school if he is ever hired again. According to the NCAA, Tyndall told his assistants to complete papers for players, and also arranged payments to players and tried to cover them up. The NCAA deemed Tyndall's violations so egregious that it required any NCAA member school who hires him during his show-cause to suspend him from coaching duties--effectively banning him from coaching at any NCAA member school until the end of the 2025–26 season. This was very unusual, since a show-cause usually has the effect of blackballing a coach from the collegiate ranks at least for the duration of the show-cause; most schools will not even consider hiring a coach with such a severe penalty on his record. In another unusual move, the NCAA decreed that if Tyndall ever coaches again at an NCAA member school after the show-cause runs out, he must sit out the first half of the first season after his return.[10] USA Today called it the most severe penalty that the NCAA has ever meted out to a head coach.[8]

On November 4, 2016, Tyndall was hired by the Toronto Raptors to be an assistant coach on their development team, Raptors 905.[11] Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey was fired in May 2018 and was then hired as the head coach of the Detroit Pistons; Tyndall then took an assistant coaching role with Grand Rapids Drive, the development team for the Pistons.[12] After one season, he was promoted to head coach of the Drive for the 2019–20 season.[13]

Head coaching recordEdit

Junior collegeEdit

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
St. Catharine Patriots (Mid-South Conference) (1996–1997)
1996–97 St. Catharine College 30–5 National Junior College Tournament
St. Catharine College: 30–5 (.857)
Total: 30–5 (.857)


Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Morehead State Eagles (Ohio Valley Conference) (2006–2012)
2006–07 Morehead State 12–18 8–12 T–7th
2007–08 Morehead State 15–15 12–8 3rd
2008–09 Morehead State 20–16 12–6 4th NCAA Round of 64
2009–10 Morehead State 24–11 15–3 2nd CBI Quarterfinals
2010–11 Morehead State 25–10 13–5 2nd NCAA Round of 32
2011–12 Morehead State 18–14 10–6 3rd
Morehead State: 114–84 (.576) 70–40 (.636)
Southern Miss Golden Eagles (Conference USA) (2012–2014)
2012–13 Southern Miss 0–10* 0–4* * NIT Quarterfinals*
2013–14 Southern Miss 0–7* 0–3* * NIT Quarterfinals*
Southern Mississippi: 0–17 (.000) 0–7 (.000)
Tennessee Volunteers (Southeastern Conference) (2014–2015)
2014–15 Tennessee 16–16 7–11 10th
Tennessee: 16–16 (.500) 7–11 (.389)
Total: 130–117 (.526)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

* Southern Miss's original records were 27–10 (12–4, 2nd in C-USA) in 2012–13[14] and 29–7 (13–3, 1st in C-USA) in 2013–14.[15] However, all 56 wins from those seasons were vacated by the NCAA due to participation of academically ineligible players.[6]


  1. ^ Dortch, Chris. "Advanced statistics provide preview of new Tennessee coach Donnie Tyndall's system". Chris Dortch.
  2. ^ a b c d "Donnie Tyndall". Tennessee Volunteers. Archived from the original on August 6, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  3. ^ "1999-00 LSU Fighting Tigers Schedule and Results - College Basketball at". College Basketball at
  4. ^ a b c Volunteers fire Donnie Tyndall. ESPN, 2015-03-27.
  5. ^ "Donnie Tyndall". Morehead State Eagles. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Munz, Jason (April 8, 2016). "USM gets 3 years' probation, no more postseason bans". Hattiesburg American. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  7. ^ Sentinel), John Kunza IV (Knoxville News. "UT's termination letter for Donnie Tyndall".
  8. ^ a b Wolken, Dan (2016-09-08). "How Donnie Tyndall's NCAA case may be warning to all head coaches". USA Today.
  9. ^ "NCAA hammer comes down hard on Southern Miss former coach". Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  10. ^ (8 April 2016). "Former Southern Mississippi men's basketball coach acted unethically". - The Official Site of the NCAA.
  11. ^ "Raptors 905 Announce Coaching Staff - Raptors 905".
  12. ^ "Grand Rapids Drive assistant Donnie Tyndall promoted to head coach". Detroit Free Press. July 29, 2019.
  13. ^ "Donnie Tyndall promoted to Grand Rapids Drive head coach". The Detroit News. July 29, 2019.
  14. ^ "2012-13 Southern Miss Golden Eagles Roster and Stats". sports-reference/cbb. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  15. ^ "2013-14 Southern Miss Golden Eagles Roster and Stats". sports-reference/CBB. Retrieved February 2, 2017.

External linksEdit