Missouri State announced Saturday (March 3) that Paul Lusk’s contract has been canceled, and he will not return as men’s basketball head coach. The announcement was made by President Clif Smart and Director of Athletics Kyle Moats during a news conference Saturday at JQH Arena.
Lusk will receive a $370,000 buyout from non-university funds for the remaining year of his contract.
“We evaluate all of our coaches at the conclusion of each season and monitor several criteria during the year,” said Moats. “Based on my review, I consulted with President Smart on Friday evening and gave him my recommendation that we make a change in the coaching leadership of our men’s basketball program. President Smart supported my recommendation. These decisions are never easy. However, we believe it is in the best long-term interest of our men’s basketball program.”
“Paul ran our program with integrity,” Missouri State Athletic Director Kyle Moats stated. “Almost without exception, his student-athletes represented the university and the department in a positive fashion. He is a class individual who has always respected and appreciated the history and tradition of Bears Basketball.”
Lusk coached the Bears for seven seasons. He compiled a 105-121 overall record in that span, including a 52-74 ledger in Missouri Valley Conference games. Missouri State advanced to the MVC Tournament semifinals twice — 2014 and 2017 — during Lusk’s tenure. His best season was the 2013-14 campaign when he led the Bears to a 20-13 overall record and a trip to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). The Bears posted winning records each of the last two seasons, including an 18-15 ledger this year.
“I want to thank the athletic department and leadership at Missouri State for the opportunity to coach the men’s basketball program,” said Lusk. “I will always cherish the relationships I’ve built here and the young men who have worked so hard for me and my staff. I wish the university tremendous success moving forward.”
Video courtesy-Missouri State Athletics