Springfield, MO

Log in Subscribe

Paul Lusk
Photo provided by Missouri State University
Paul Lusk

MSU ends contract with basketball coach

Posted online

Last edited 3:44 p.m., March, 5, 2018

Missouri State University terminated the contract of men’s basketball head coach Paul Lusk.

Lusk signed a five-year contract with the Bears in 2011, when he was tapped to receive $400,000 in total annual compensation. In 2014, he received a five-year extension through March 31, 2019, and a raise to $450,000 in total compensation annually. Lusk is slated to receive a $370,000 buyout from non-university funds for the remaining year of his contract, according to a news release.

"We evaluate all of our coaches at the conclusion of each season and monitor several criteria during the year," MSU Athletics Director Kyle Moats said in the release, noting President Clif Smart supported his decision. “We believe it is in the best long-term interest of our men's basketball program."

During his seven-season tenure, Lusk’s Bears basketball team posted a 105-121 record, including a 52-74 tally in the Missouri Valley Conference. MSU Assistant Athletics Director Rick Kindhart said home attendance peaked at 105,750 during Lusk’s first year. It continued to decline until 2017, when it hit 71,161, above 2016's tally of 62,106. However, it again slipped during the latest season to 67,764.

Associate head coach Corey Gipson will lead the men’s basketball team until a new head coach is signed. Assistant coaches Matt Sligh and Keith Pickens also will remain employed by the university until the new hire is made, according to the release.

Moats is leading a search committee that immediately will begin a national search for Lusk’s successor. Other search committee members are Casey Hunt, MSU senior associate director of athletics; Rachael Dockery, MSU legal counsel; university athletics contributors Ed Pinegar of Pinegar Chevrolet Inc. and Joe Turner of Great Southern Bank; and James Satterfield, the head of MSU’s Counseling Leadership and Special Education Department.


No comments on this story |
Please log in to add your comment
Editors' Pick

12 People You Need to Know in 2019

Read the profiles of the selected guests for the editorial live interview series.

Most Read