Source: Missouri State fires Hinson after nine seasons

Updated: March 9, 2008, 1:47 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Missouri State has fired coach Barry Hinson, a source close to the situation told ESPN's Doug Gottlieb.

Hinson, the second-longest tenured coach in the Missouri Valley Conference, had eight winning seasons in nine years at Missouri State. Under Hinson, the Bears reached the MVC tournament finals three times and made the NIT three times, including last season when Missouri State reached the NIT quarterfinals. But the team hasn't made the NCAA Tournament since 1999.

Missouri State was beaten 63-58 by Illinois State in the MVC quarterfinals on Friday. Hinson, whose Bears were left out of the dance with an RPI of 21 last year, has won 22 games or more three times.

Hinson's Bears have the highest Academic Progress Rates in the MVC and he has seen 46 of his 48 players graduate during his 11 years as a Division I coach. He has averaged 19 wins per year in his nine years in Springfield, Mo., but his teams never made the NCAA Tournament.

And with the palatial John Q. Hammons Arena set to open next season, Missouri State has decided to buy out his contract for $150,000. A news conference is set for Sunday.

Doug Gottlieb is a college basketball analyst for ESPN and the host of "The Pulse" for ESPN Radio.