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Joey James Will Not Return as South Dakota Coyotes Head Coach

In a move that isn’t very surprising, the University of South Dakota will not retain Joey James as the head coach of the men’s basketball team.

A tweet was sent out by James late last night at 11:23pm.

While being vague, the writing was on the wall. The news was confirmed by Midco Sports Net’s Jay Elsen just an hour later.

With James being a USD guy, and giving 11 years of his life to the university, the decision will be made with a bit of backlash towards Athletic Director David Herbster.

Herbster had his hands tied back in September when former head coach Dave Boots decided to retire. With the season close to the start, Herbster was left without the option to conduct a national search and had to hire James as a INTERIM coach. James had the opportunity to show that he is the right man for the job.

Under James, USD won one more conference game this year than they have in the past. However, the team only won one conference game on the road against IUPUI, and was swept by rivals SDSU and NDSU. The team might have been 10-3 at home, but only gained two wins on the road. In terms of a case builder, James unfortunately doesn’t have a strong case outside of his loyalty to the university.

Herbster will now have the opportunity to conduct a search for “his candidate/his coach.” While the decision might not be popular right now, USD as a brand needs to grow. A new arena will be constructed, and with that will bring an extra emphasis on winning and recruiting. With a lack of fan support at The Summit League Tournament, Herbster also knows that the culture in general needs to change, and that will come with big wins for the school and wins in the tournament itself. All of this combined makes it easy to see how Herbster could make the decision to move forward.

It will be interesting to see what direction Herbster wants to take when hiring a new coach. Does he reach out to local coaches from the area? Does he go national and try to land a decent ‘name’ for publicity? Either way, he will be expecting wins and an upgrade to that brand.

As for James, it would be hard to believe that he won’t have another coaching opportunity elsewhere. He has a good amount of experience as both a D-1 coach and assistant. It just wasn’t his time for USD.

*You can contact Jerry at, or @Jerrysworld991 on Twitter*

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