NSU searches for men’s basketball head coach
TNE Editor

NSU searches for men’s basketball head coach

Published 4/3/17

Matt Reynolds

TNE Writer

The NSU men’s basketball program has a vacancy after three-year head coach Jason Tinsley stepped down. Tinsley had a record of 20-61 in his tenure at NSU. After making progress in his second year the RiverHawks backtracked in the 2016-2017 season, only winning 5 games.

Tinsley could have stayed another year at NSU, but he felt it was time to make a move. The beginning of his time at NSU is when Tinsley sees the biggest mistakes that were made.

Obviously things didn't turn out the way I expected when I took the job three years ago,” said Tinsley. “Too many mistakes were made in the beginning, primarily in recruiting, that are key to getting off to a good start. It has been a perpetual battle to move forward in the MIAA. Sonia and I decided now was the time to make the change and move back to Louisiana College. This is a tough business, and it's a bottom line business. It's only fun when you win or if you're fortunate to be one of the small percentage of coaches that makes generational lifestyle-changing money in your career.”

The time of Tinsley at NSU was not always doom and gloom. The RiverHawks made the MIAA postseason tournament two out of the three years he was the head coach. When Tinsley looks back at his time at NSU he sees several positives. One of the positives is the community of Tahlequah as his son Landon grew up.

“On a positive, our son Landon had three great years starting with Sequoyah and the last two years at Heritage Elementary,” said Tinsley.

The move by Tinsley was not one many expected. Former players of Tinsley reacted to the news of him stepping down. The first high school player Tinsley recruited Montre Williams, was really affected by his time at NSU.

“I learned a lot from coach Tinsley, and it really made me mature as a person,” said Montre Williams, NSU junior guard. “He taught me a lot of things that will be useful in life and after basketball and made me focus on my education, which is most important. One thing Tinsley always did was hold people accountable, whether it was from their actions or problems with time management. I also had to earn and compete for whatever I wanted my three years here with him and that made me stronger mentally and physically.”

Peyton Pratt spent time under Tinsley in his tenure at NSU as a freshman in the 2015-2016 season. He echoed a lot of the same things Williams spoke to about the lessons Coach Tinsley taught him as the RiverHawks head coach.

“My time playing for Coach Tinsley was challenging, not just on the court, but definitely rewarding,” said Pratt. “It was an experience that I am greatly appreciative for.”

NSU men’s basketball will now turn their focus to finding the perfect fit for the program.

“We encourage coaches to apply,” said Tony Duckworth, NSU athletic director.

NSU will take applications through April 4 and then will begin the interview process. The hire of the NSU men’s basketball coach will be an important one.

For more information, visit Goriverhawksgo.com.

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