Well, I just came out of the most amazing press conference I've ever been a part of. Barry Hinson took questions for around 15 minutes from the media about his loss to ISU but more about his soon departure from Missouri St.
Barry has been nothing but class and my favorite interview in the Valley. He was crying basically the entire time he was on the podium. When the moderator told the media that we had 2 minutes left with him, Barry said "this ain't no academy awards, if this is it - we got all the time in the world. I love these guys and we ain't got nothing going on tonight". The room burst out laughing.
Barry got a standing ovation from the media as he left the podium. I have nothing but A TON of respect for the man, not just the coach. This posting isn't doing the presser justice. I will try my best on Monday when I get back to Omaha to put the entire press conf. up on our website. It really has to be heard to be fully understood. If that's the last time I hear him speak....I feel blessed for the opportunity. Even as he is about to get fired, he cracked jokes: "I was dean of the league for one before Dana realized he didn't like pork". That's Barry.
Missouri St. didn't go to the NCAA tourney in 9 years under Barry Hinson. I get that they aren't happy but Coach did it the right way. He graduated players. He cared about his kids, his program, and his fans. He represents everything that college basketball should be about. I will miss him for sure. MSU better know what they are doing too. You can't control the selection committee and Barry Hinson has a resume that is as good as many in the Valley today. One trip to the dance and he would have kept his job. Who's gonna get you there? Bob Knight? Please. Eddie Sutton? Come on. Bruce Webber? We'll have to wait and see.
I walked up to Barry after it and shook his hand and said thank you for everything. When I tried to introduce myself and he said "I know who you are Matt, I'm sorry I can't talk". He then turned and walked away still crying. His wife, standing a few feet away, was also in tears. It was one of the most emotional moments of my career.
I'm only 30 years old. I'm not the oldest, most mature, or best talk show host in the Valley. But tonight, I feel like one of the luckiest to get the chance to cover Barry Hinson. I wish him the best of the luck and I hope he gets another job very soon.
Good Luck Barry. You were the best voice and cheerleader the Valley could have asked for.