Joe Aguillard got Jason Tinsley back into basketball. Now Tinsley is at Northeastern State.
Tinsley — most recently as the women’s coach at Louisiana College — was named the men’s hoops coach at NSU on Tuesday, replacing long-time coach Larry Gipson, who recently retired after 17 years in Tahlequah.
And if not for Aguillard, NSU may very well be still looking for Gipson’s successor.
“Four years ago, in 2010, I’m out of the business,” Tinsley told the Town Talk in Alexandria, La. “I mean, I am out of the business, and (Aguillard) took a chance. He could’ve hired anybody he wanted to hire. He took a chance and got me back in the business. For that, I am forever grateful.”
So is NSU.
The RiverHawks appointed Tinsley as the ninth men’s hoops coach in school history. He leaves his post at Louisiana College, where he was 89-25 while in charge of the women’s program from 2010 through the end of the recently-concluded season.
“It is an honor for me to be chosen to lead this program with its rich basketball tradition,” Tinsley said in a statement released by NSU. “My goal is to live up to the standard established by coaches Jack Dobbins, Ken Hayes, and Larry Gipson.”
Gipson wrapped up his career at NSU as the school’s second all-time winningest coach behind Jack Dobbins. Gipson, however, is still the only coach at NSU to win an NCAA national championship, which the Redmen claimed back in 2003.
Now Gipson hands the reigns over to Tinsley, whose last men’s coaching experience was from 2003 to 2008 at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Tinsley’s record while coaching the Braves was 22-91.
Following that stint is when Tinsley stepped away from basketball.
Prior to the UNC-Pembroke position, Tinsley was a head men’s basketball coach at Bossier Parish Community College. Assistant gigs at Northwestern State, Missouri State University-West Plains and Georgia Southwestern State preceded Tinsley’s first head-coaching position.
Tinsley described the NSU opening as something that found him. And it was a call from NSU’s Director of Athletics Tony Duckworth that set the wheels in motion.
“He actually called me to ask me about someone else just to get my thoughts on that person,” Tinsley said. “Five to 10 minutes into the conversation, he asked me my thoughts on coaching men again.”
As for his new coaching addition, Duckworth, in a statement from NSU, said: “My focus during this search was to identify an individual who has the attributes and background to maximize the strengths of Northeastern State University and our men’s basketball program,” Duckworth said. “Jason Tinsley embodies the characteristics I sought in this hire.”