Friday, April 1, 2011
Missouri State hires Paul Lusk
ESPN.com news services
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Missouri State must have figured the last basketball coach it hired from Purdue turned out pretty well.
The Bears announced Friday night that Boilermakers assistant Paul Lusk had agreed to take over their program. He replaces former Purdue assistant Cuonzo Martin, who resigned after three seasons in Springfield to become Tennessee's next coach.
"Paul is a quality person, an excellent coach and will be a tremendous addition to Missouri State," athletic director Kyle Moats said in a statement. "He is a proven winner and has had success at every level. I know our fans will embrace Paul and his family."
ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz first reported the hiring.
The move comes two days after Purdue coach Matt Painter spurned overtures from Missouri by agreeing to an eight-year contract to stay with the Boilermakers.
Lusk has agree to a five-year contract with Missouri State, though terms of the agreement were still being finalized. The school scheduled an introductory news conference for Saturday.
The 40-year-old Lusk got his start as an assistant at Southwestern Illinois College before spending three years at Missouri Southern State. He spent one year as head coach at Dubuque (Iowa), going just 2-23, before joining Painter's staff at Southern Illinois.
He joined the Boilermakers for the 2004-05 season, and helped turn around a program that was 7-21 his first year in West Lafayette, Ind. Purdue went to five straight NCAA tournaments, two regional finals and won Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles with Lusk on the bench.
Martin was 61-41 in three seasons at Missouri State, including a 26-9 mark this season, when the Bears reached the second round of the NIT.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.