A new Saluki men's head basketball coach could be hired soon according to Director of Athletics Jerry Kill.
Barry Hinson stepped down Friday after SIU's loss to Northern Iowa at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in St. Louis.
During a news conference Monday, Kill said he knows what type of coach he wants.
“I want somebody from the Midwest. I want to make sure they’re a good fit here at Southern Illinois.”
Kill said Hinson's assistant coaches will stay on until a new coach is hired and it will be up to the new coach to determine if any of the current assistants are retained.
Kill said he believes the returning players are waiting to see who the new coach is before determining their futures.
Kill said he wants to hire a new coach quickly.
“I’d like to be able to name a head coach as early as next week. But, we’ll just have to see. There’s a lot of things that go into that. But, we don’t want to waste any time.”
Kill said this is the biggest hire for the athletics department.
“Basketball is the kingpin around here. We got to make that kingpin go. We’re going to do what it takes to make that kingpin go.”
Hinson made 350-thousand dollars per year. Kill said he's ready to pay the next coach a competitive salary, worthy of a Division I program.
“The bottom line is we’re the front porch of the university and we have to win in basketball. We got to put 6-8,000 people in that thing. I want it full. But, guess what, to get it full, you go to win.”
Kill said he and his staff will be on the road this week talking to job candidates.
The search for a new men's head basketball coach means another new coach will join Saluki athletics.
The department has already hired four new head coaches in less than a year.
It started last May, when Grant Williams became the first head coach of the newly created women's soccer program. Last June, Danielle Kaufman became the new head coach of women's golf, a month later, Rosalind Joseph was named Director of Track and Field and Cross Country, and in December, Ed Allen took over the Saluki volleyball program.
Another coaching search is also about to get underway for the swimming and diving program after longtime head coach Rick Walker stepped down, effective once the season ends later this month.
SIU-Edwardsville says it won't renew the contract of its men's basketball coach Jon Harris.
Harris was 31-88 over four seasons.
The Cougars were defeated last week in the first round of the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.