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Salukis' Hinson says he won't return next season

Southern Illinois head coach Barry Hinson will not return next season, he announced after his team's exit at the Missouri Valley tournament on Friday night.

"We made a pact that, if we didn't go to the NIT or the NCAA, that it would be time for me to step away," Hinson said.

Loyola Chicago associate head coach and former Southern Illinois point guard Bryan Mullins is the primary candidate to replace Hinson, sources told ESPN.

The Salukis (17-15, 10-8 MVC) had been predicted as contenders in the Valley this season and finished tied for third.

Their hopes of a conference tournament title ended with Friday's 61-58 loss to sixth-seeded Northern Iowa.

Hinson coached Southern Illinois for seven seasons but never reached the NCAA tournament. Hinson also failed to make the tournament in two seasons in charge of Oral Roberts (1997-1999) and nine with Missouri State (1999-2008).

"I am so sorry. I am so sorry that we couldn't get back to the tournament," he said. "It's haunted me. It's haunted me my entire life."

ESPN's Jeff Borzello contributed to this report.