Nova Southeastern University Director of Athletics Michael Mominey announced that Sharks’ head basketball coach Gary Tuell will step down at the conclusion of the 2016-17 season. The coming year will mark Tuell’s 30th as a collegiate head coach, including his 13th and final season with NSU. Mominey stated that a national search for the new head men’s basketball coach will officially begin after Jan. 1, 2017.
“I want thank Coach Tuell for his leadership, devotion and his loyalty to the NSU men’s basketball program and to our university over the past 12 years,” Mominey said. “He has represented Shark Athletics with class and integrity and has been a true ambassador for our entire athletic program. His student-athletes, past and present, have been a reflection of him in this same manner and I think that says everything about Gary Tuell; the coach and the man.”
Tuell enters his final season at NSU with an overall career record of 445-406 (.522 winning percentage), including a 259-203 (.560) record in conference games. His record in 12 previous seasons at NSU is 153-181 (.458) and 81-111 (.421) in league play. Tuell’s NSU teams, always noted for playing a difficult non-conference schedule, were 72-70 (.507) outside the Sunshine State Conference. The 72 non-conference wins include multiple victories over nationally-ranked NCAA DII teams as well as a 77-59 victory over NCAA DI Florida International in 2012-13.
“We’ve always been competitive in and out of our conference,” Tuell said, “but we’ve never had the success in terms of wins and losses that any of us hoped or believed we could have. Mike and I sat down after the 2015-16 season and took a long, hard look at where the program was in April and where we both want it to be in the future. We were in agreement on almost everything. Mike gave me a wonderful opportunity at NSU and has been more than fair with me. Now it’s time, when the season ends, to pass that opportunity on to someone fresh and new who can make us better. Our feeling, that it’s time to go in a different direction, is shared by both of us and has my total support.”
Notwithstanding what his present team might accomplish, Tuell’s best NSU team to date was his 2005-06 squad that posted a 17-11 record and finished 11-5 in the SSC, one game out of first place. In seven seasons at NCAA DII Augusta State, his teams won five division championships, three regular season or post-season league titles and made two appearances in the NCAA tournament. Tuell was named Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year twice and was given the Naismith NCAA DII National Coach of the Year Award by the Atlanta Tipoff Club in 1998-99.
Prior to coaching at Augusta State, Tuell served five years as the head coach at NAIA St. Thomas University in Miami where he was twice named Florida Sun Conference Coach of the Year and led the Bobcats to two NAIA national tournament appearances and a pair of FSC post-season titles. Tuell’s first head coaching job was at Cincinnati Christian University where he spent four seasons, including the final three years winning 27, 27 and 25 games, garnering three league championships, two regional championships and finishing third and fifth in two NCCAA national tournaments. Tuell was a three-time conference Coach of the Year at Cincinnati, as well as the NCCAA DII National Coach of the Year in 1980-81 when his team posted a 27-3 record and averaged 102 points per game.
In addition to his head coaching experience, the 66-year-old Tuell served as an assistant coach at the University of Louisville under Hall of Fame head coach Denny Crum and later enjoyed a five-year stint as an assistant coach at the University of Miami under two head coaches, the late Bill Foster and current Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton.