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Southern Mississippi to Hire Eustachy

March 25, 2004|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Larry Eustachy is getting a chance to coach again, taking over at Southern Mississippi.

Eustachy resigned at Iowa State in May after photographs were published by the Des Moines Register showing him at a college party kissing and being kissed by young women. He will be introduced as the Golden Eagle coach today, a source told Associated Press. Eustachy reportedly has agreed to a four-year contract, the maximum allowed under Mississippi law.

Eustachy led Iowa State to Big 12 Conference championships in 2000 and 2001. In 2000, the Cyclones reached the round of eight in the NCAA tournament, losing to eventual champion Michigan State.

Eustachy also spent three seasons as the coach at Idaho and five at Utah State. His record over 13 seasons is 260-145.

Before resigning from Iowa State, Eustachy announced he was an alcoholic. This year, he said he had stopped drinking and wanted to return to coaching. Eustachy, with an annual salary of $1.1 million, was Iowa's highest-paid state employee when he resigned as Cyclone coach.

Eustachy has some ties to Mississippi. He was an assistant at Mississippi State in the early 1980s under Bob Boyd.

Eustachy will replace James Green, who resigned the day before the Golden Eagles' final regular-season game. Southern Mississippi finished 13-15 and lost five of its last six games in Green's eighth season.

Green came to Southern Mississippi from Iowa State, where he was an assistant to then-Cyclone coach Tim Floyd. Lee Floyd, Tim's father, was the Golden Eagle coach for 14 seasons.

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Billy Gillispie, who took Texas El Paso from 24 losses to 24 victories in two seasons and nearly guided the Miners to an upset of Maryland in the NCAA tournament, agreed to a six-year contract to become coach at Texas A&M.

The contract guarantees Gillispie $585,000 annually. He could earn as much as $880,000 with incentives. He made $145,000 a year at Texas El Paso. Gillispie, 44, replaces Melvin Watkins, who was 60-111 in six seasons.

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Connecticut center Emeka Okafor, who has experienced muscle spasms because of a stress fracture in his back, says he will play tonight against Vanderbilt in an NCAA tournament game at Phoenix.

Okafor sat out two games in the Big East tournament because of spasms.

"I have no pain in my back since I came back," the 6-foot-10 junior said. "With the recovery time and the physical therapy, I was able to get back into things and get back into the system. My back feels great."

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Jabahri Brown pleaded no contest to drug charges that led to his dismissal from the Oklahoma team, and he will not serve jail time.

Brown, a senior center, was ordered to serve three one-year deferred sentences and one one-year suspended sentence on four misdemeanors stemming from two arrests.

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New Orleans Coach Monte Towe agreed to a new five-year contract that will run through 2008-09.

Towe has a 47-42 record in his three seasons at New Orleans, including a mark of 17-14 this season.

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Long Beach State center Alex Graham was granted a release from his scholarship so he can transfer to another school. Graham, a 7-foot sophomore, averaged 1.9 rebounds in 10 games.

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USC recruit Robert Swift, who is considering making a jump from Bakersfield High to the professional ranks, had 17 points and 12 rebounds to help the West to a 124-110 victory over the East in the EA Sports Roundball Classic in Chicago.

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