After losing popular head men's basketball coach Tim Miles to Nebraska, Colorado State University landed a proven and relatively high-profile replacement: Larry Eustachy. There's just one catch: The new CSU head coach is kinda, sorta most well-known for being photographed while partying with students when he was head coach of Iowa State in the early 2000s. Since then, Eustachy has sought treatment for an alcohol problem, and he's won everywhere he's coached. But the web has a long memory.
Eustachy, who will be officially introduced later today, is coming to Fort Collins from the University of Southern Mississippi. Last year he took Southern Mississippi to the NCAA tournament for the first time in 21 years.
Eustachy first became a big name in the sporting world when he was named the Associated Press coach of the year for the 1999-2000 season, and took his team to the Elite Eight. He became relevant to broader society when pictures surfaced of him drinking beer and kissing female students half his age in Columbia, where his Iowa State team had played the University of Missouri. He also reportedly attended a student party after a road game against Kansas State.
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The pictures were given to the Des Moines Register by a student at the party, and published there first -- then made their way to the Internet, where the incriminating photos were accompanied by reports that Eustachy had behaved much like a freshman party-crasher who stayed well beyond his welcome. He resigned his Iowa post as the media attention swelled, and spent a year away from basketball while he sought treatment for alcoholism. He returned in 2004 to take over Southern Mississippi, and steadily built up that program. Southern Mississippi was the only team last year to beat Eustachy's new team at home.
Eustachy told Yahoo!'s Pat Forde that he used to slam a screwdriver before talking to the press after games, adding that he will be nine years sober on June 23.
He will take over a team that made its first NCAA tournament appearance in nine years last season. Almost all of the key players are coming back, and the Rams should be poised for a return visit to the tournament. For more unfortunate sports photos, see the 7 best-dressed (and undressed) fans at the Colorado Rockies home opener.