NAIA Tennessee Southern opens; Lyne to take D1 assistant job

Story: Adam Nelson (@HD_DirtKing)

NAIA University of Tennessee Southern head men’s basketball coach Dugan Lyne has resigned from his position. The school released the statement below and said Lyne will “pursue a new coaching opportunity.” Sources have told me that Lyne will become an assistant at Austin Peay. More on that part of the move once it is officially announced.

The University of Tennessee Southern has announced that head men’s basketball coach Dugan Lyne has resigned from his position to pursue a new coaching opportunity. 

Coach Lyne began his journey at UT Southern as an assistant coach in 2012 and took over as the program’s head coach in 2018, marking his first head coaching opportunity. Over his six seasons as head coach, Lyne achieved an impressive overall career record of 109-69. 

“For the past 12 years, my wife, Erin, and I have called this university and Pulaski our home. The people here at UT Southern and the town of Pulaski have made this an amazing time in our lives. I am proud to have been a part of the men’s basketball program and will always cherish our time here,” said Coach Lyne. “I want to thank my current assistant, Jordan Counts, as well as my former assistants, Caleb Chowbay, Jason Laatsch, and Jeff Hinshaw. Special thanks to Director of Athletics, Brandie Paul, former Director of Athletics, Jeff Bain, and my close friend and mentor, Scott Combs.” 

“We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to Coach Lyne for his dedication to our men’s basketball program and are proud of his decision to pursue further growth in his coaching career,” said Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics Brandie Paul. “We are incredibly grateful for Coach Lyne’s service and commitment to the men’s basketball program and the University of Tennessee Southern over the past 12 years. We wish him and his family the very best in their future endeavors.” 

Under Lyne’s leadership, UT Southern celebrated two 20+ win seasons, including his best season with the Firehawks in 2023-24, where they achieved a 27-6 record. The team ranked as high as No. 7 in the NAIA National Coaches’ Poll and clinched the Southern States Athletic Conference Regular Season Championship. Additionally, Lyne reached the milestone of 100 career wins and was named the SSAC Coach of the Year. 

Throughout his tenure at UT Southern, Lyne guided the program to two conference tournament championships (2013 TranSouth, 2015 Southern States) and five National Tournament appearances (2013, 2015, 2017, 2022, 2024). He also coached and recruited six All-Americans, 21 all-conference selections, one Conference Newcomer of the Year, and one Conference Freshman of the Year. 

Before joining UT Southern, Lyne spent one season with NCAA Division III Manchester University, one season with NCAA Division III Westminster College, and two seasons as the Graduate Assistant and Director of Basketball Operations at NCAA Division I Austin Peay State University. 

The University of Tennessee Southern will immediately begin a national search for the next head coach of the men’s basketball team, continuing to build on the strong foundation laid by Coach Lyne and paving the way for future opportunities. 

Tagged with: