Quantcast

Auburn hires Bruce Pearl as its new head basketball coach - abc27 WHTM

Auburn hires Bruce Pearl as its new head basketball coach

Posted: Updated:
Auburn's new men's basketball coach, Bruce Pearl, waves to fans after he received a birthday cake from Auburn mascot Aubie on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) Auburn's new men's basketball coach, Bruce Pearl, waves to fans after he received a birthday cake from Auburn mascot Aubie on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn has hired former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl to revive a struggling basketball program that hasn't been to the NCAA tournament in more than a decade.

The school announced the hiring on Tuesday of the charismatic coach, who remains under a show-cause penalty from the NCAA into August. Pearl had plenty of success on the court, taking Tennessee to the NCAA tournament in each of his six seasons before getting fired in March 2011 in the wake of an NCAA investigation.

NCAA spokeswoman Emily James said Auburn has 30 days to file a report to the Committee on Infractions either contesting or accepting the show-cause penalty barring Pearl from recruiting until Aug. 23.

Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said he believes Pearl "has learned from his mistake." The coach was to be introduced at a news conference at Auburn Arena Tuesday night.

Auburn did not release terms of the deal with Pearl.

"I'm humbled and blessed to be back in the game that I love," Pearl, who turned 54 on Tuesday, said in a statement. "I don't know how long it will take, but it's time to rebuild the Auburn basketball program, and bring it to a level of excellence so many of the other teams on campus enjoy."

Pearl was greeted by 100-plus fans when he landed at the airport in Auburn. He jumped into a mosh pit of fans.

"I want this same reception when we come back with an SEC championship," he told fans upon arrival.

Pearl replaces Tony Barbee, who was fired about two hours after the Tigers lost to South Carolina in the first round of the Southeastern Conference tournament. They went 18-50 in the SEC during Barbee's four-year tenure, which coincided with the opening of the $87 million Auburn Arena.

Jacobs said with the move "we have raised the bar for Auburn basketball." He addressed the off-the-court issues in an open letter to fans posted on the school's Web site.

"After looking at the case and talking to Coach Pearl face to face, I am convinced without a doubt that he has learned from his mistake," Jacobs wrote.

"I've thought about this a great deal, and obviously so has Coach Pearl. I believe people who are genuine and sincere deserve second chances. If I did not believe Coach Pearl's apologies were sincere and heartfelt, I would not have even considered him."

Pearl was cited for unethical conduct for lying to investigators in June 2010 about improperly hosting recruits at his home. He was placed under a three-year show-cause penalty

He also was found to have interfered with the NCAA's investigation after he contacted a recruit's father who had also been interviewed by investigators.

Two months after his initial interview, he met again with NCAA investigators to tell them he had misled them.

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said he trusts that Auburn did "its due diligence throughout the hiring process."

"I was disappointed in the actions of coach Pearl that led to his suspension and ultimate dismissal, but he will soon complete the requirements of his NCAA penalties," Slive said. " I have every expectation that he has learned his lesson and will run Auburn's basketball program in accordance with these expectations."

Auburn hired former NCAA director of enforcement David Didion as an associate athletic director for compliance in April 2013.

Pearl, who is 231-99 in Division I, has been working in private business in Knoxville, Tenn., and working as an ESPN analyst. He has led nine of his 10 Division I teams to the NCAA tournament, including three times in four seasons at Wisconsin-Milwaukee and led Division II Southern Indiana to a national title in 1995.

Pearl's teams have had winning records in all 19 of his seasons as a head coach.

A seven-time conference coach of the year during his career, Pearl led the Volunteers to the Sweet Sixteen four times and they made the Elite Eight in 2010.

He's led major turnarounds before. Pearl inherited a Tennessee team that went 14-17 and lost its top two scorers, and took the Vols to a 22-8 record in his debut season, 2005-06.

Only North Carolina's Roy Williams reached 300 career wins faster among NCAA coaches.

Auburn hasn't been to the NCAA tournament since 2003, the longest drought in the SEC. The Tigers' average attendance last season was 5,823, 13th in the league.

The last seven Auburn coaches have left with losing marks in the league, dating back to the Joel Eaves era from 1949-63. Pearl takes over a team that went 14-16 and loses three starters, including leading scorer Chris Denson.

Follow John Zenor on Twitter @jzenor

  • All other Local CollegesMore>>

  • Alabama State, Southern favorites in SWAC

    Alabama State, Southern favorites in SWAC

    Friday, July 18 2014 5:11 PM EDT2014-07-18 21:11:55 GMT
    Defending Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Southern and Alabama State are the favorites to win their divisions.More >>
    Defending Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Southern and Alabama State are the favorites to win their divisions.
    More >>
  • JSU football picked by media to win OVC championship

    JSU football picked by media to win OVC championship

    Friday, July 18 2014 4:08 PM EDT2014-07-18 20:08:13 GMT
    Jacksonville State is picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference championship by media covering the league.More >>
    Jacksonville State is picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference championship by media covering the league.
    More >>
  • JSU running back Troymaine Pope wounded by gunfire outside AJ's Sunset Grill in Anniston

    JSU running back Troymaine Pope wounded by gunfire outside AJ's Sunset Grill in Anniston

    Tuesday, July 8 2014 8:57 PM EDT2014-07-09 00:57:24 GMT
    ANNISTON, Alabama -- Anniston police are investigating a shooting outside a local bar that wounded Jacksonville State running back Troymaine Pope. Pope, 20, suffered a gunshot wound to his right bicep while trying to run for safety after gunfire erupted in the parking lot of AJ's Sunset Grill around 5:20 a.m. Sunday. The injury was non-life threatening, police said. Pope, an Anniston High School product, is preparing for his sophomore season with the Gamecocks. He played in seven games in 201...More >>
    ANNISTON, Alabama -- Anniston police are investigating a shooting outside a local bar that wounded Jacksonville State running back Troymaine Pope. Pope, 20, suffered a gunshot wound to his right bicep while trying to run for safety after gunfire erupted in the parking lot of AJ's Sunset Grill around 5:20 a.m. Sunday. The injury was non-life threatening, police said. Pope, an Anniston High School product, is preparing for his sophomore season with the Gamecocks. He played in seven games in 201...More >>
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Kayak BBQ and Blues Festival at the gulf

    Kayak BBQ and Blues Festival at the gulf

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:05 PM EDT2014-07-23 01:05:11 GMT
    The 2nd Annual Kayak BBQ and Blues Festival is coming on September 6th at Perdido Key. The event will be held at Stacey's at the Point, just off Galvez Landing. Last year's event attracted over 3,500 visitors in its first year, more are expected this year.The festival will feature kayak and stand up paddleboard races, arts and crafts vendors, live music, a huge fireworks show and a BBQ cook off competition with cash prizes. This year's kayak and paddleboard races have been expanded with separ...More >>
    The 2nd Annual Kayak BBQ and Blues Festival is coming on September 6th at Perdido Key. The event will be held at Stacey's at the Point, just off Galvez Landing. Last year's event attracted over 3,500 visitors in its first year, more are expected this year.The festival will feature kayak and stand up paddleboard races, arts and crafts vendors, live music, a huge fireworks show and a BBQ cook off competition with cash prizes. This year's kayak and paddleboard races have been expanded with separ...More >>
  • CEO: Rivers to quit Clippers if Sterling stays

    CEO: Rivers to quit Clippers if Sterling stays

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:03 PM EDT2014-07-23 01:03:48 GMT
    Richard Parsons, the interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers, is due to step into the battle of billionaires going on in probate court over the proposed sale of the Los Angeles Clippers.More >>
    The interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers testified Tuesday that coach Doc Rivers told him he will quit if Donald Sterling remains the owner of the team.More >>
  • Starting process of replacing I-20/59 bridge

    Starting process of replacing I-20/59 bridge

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:17 PM EDT2014-07-23 00:17:49 GMT
    It's more than 42 years old and not getting in any better shape. The long and arduous process of replacing the I-20/59 bridge near the Birmingham/Jefferson Civic Center area is in the beginning stages. Starting Wednesday, July 23, at 9 a.m., the Alabama Department of Transportation will conduct geotechnical investigations for replacement of the bridge that's in disrepair. More than 160,000 vehicle travel the corridor each day. However, the bridge was only designed to carry 80,000 vehicles a d...More >>
    It's more than 42 years old and not getting in any better shape. The long and arduous process of replacing the I-20/59 bridge near the Birmingham/Jefferson Civic Center area is in the beginning stages. Starting Wednesday, July 23, at 9 a.m., the Alabama Department of Transportation will conduct geotechnical investigations for replacement of the bridge that's in disrepair. More than 160,000 vehicle travel the corridor each day. However, the bridge was only designed to carry 80,000 vehicles a d...More >>
  • Suspect in Jacksonville shooting from June turns self in

    Suspect in Jacksonville shooting from June turns self in

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:06:38 GMT
    Jacksonville police said the suspect in the June shooting of a Calhoun County man turned himself into police Tuesday afternoon.More >>
    Jacksonville police said the suspect in the June shooting of a Calhoun County man turned himself into police Tuesday afternoon.
    More >>
  • Jacksonville man arrested for child pornography

    Jacksonville man arrested for child pornography

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:05 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:05:18 GMT
    William Franklin Harper (Photo: Calhoun County Sheriff's Office)William Franklin Harper (Photo: Calhoun County Sheriff's Office)
    The Alabama Bureau of Investigation’s CyberCrimes Unit arrested a Jacksonville man Tuesday for possession of child pornography.ABI officers served a search warrant at the home of 49-year-old William Franklin Harper. Harper is charged with four counts of possession of child pornography.He is currently in custody at theCalhoun County Jailwith bond setat $100,000 bond.During the search, investigators found methamphetamine. Agents of the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board and the Calhoun Coun...More >>
    The Alabama Bureau of Investigation’s CyberCrimes Unit arrested a Jacksonville man Tuesday for possession of child pornography.ABI officers served a search warrant at the home of 49-year-old William Franklin Harper. Harper is charged with four counts of possession of child pornography.He is currently in custody at theCalhoun County Jailwith bond setat $100,000 bond.During the search, investigators found methamphetamine. Agents of the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board and the Calhoun Coun...More >>
  • California law limits full-contact football practice for youth, local coach weighs in

    California law limits full-contact football practice for youth, local coach weighs in

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:33 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:33:21 GMT
    Football, and the injuries associated with it, are in the national spotlight. With recent suits from former NFL players and new rules determining when it is safe to return to play after a concussion, it's at the center of attention.More >>
    Football, and the injuries associated with it, are in the national spotlight. With recent suits from former NFL players and new rules determining when it is safe to return to play after a concussion, it's at the center of attention.
    More >>
  • UAB gets commitment from JUCO receiver/returner

    UAB gets commitment from JUCO receiver/returner

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:17 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:17:31 GMT
    Alex Byers is set to return to his southeast roots. The junior college wide receiver and return man committed to UAB. He's the ninth member of the Blazers 2015 recruiting class.More >>
    Alex Byers is set to return to his southeast roots. The junior college wide receiver and return man committed to UAB. He's the ninth member of the Blazers 2015 recruiting class.More >>
  • Chrysler recalls older Jeep SUVs worldwide due to faulty ignition switches

    Chrysler recalls older Jeep SUVs worldwide due to faulty ignition switches

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:01 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:01:38 GMT
    The ignition switch defects that engulfed General Motors are now a rapidly growing problem at Chrysler.More >>
    The ignition switch defects that engulfed General Motors are now a rapidly growing problem at Chrysler.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow