Auburn Hires Former Tennessee Coach Bruce Pearl


by Bill DiFilippo

Less than a week after Auburn fired head coach Tony Barbee, the Tigers made a major hire, bringing on former Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl.

Auburn fired Barbee after the Tigers lost in the first round of the SEC Tournament to South Carolina last Wednesday, 74-56. Barbee went 49-75 during his tenure.

Pearl—who has been an analyst for ESPN since the 2011-12 season—hasn’t coached since 2011. He comes to Auburn with a 462-145 career record, including a 145-61 mark at the helm of Tennessee.


“I’m humbled and blessed to back in the game that I love,” Pearl said. “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.”

“From the moment I met Coach Pearl and heard his vision for our basketball program, it was clear he’s the right man at the right time for Auburn,” [athletics director Jay] Jacobs said.  “Coach Pearl is a proven winner who will bring energy and excitement to our program. We have raised the bar for Auburn basketball, and I could not be more excited for our student-athletes and our future under Coach Pearl’s leadership. I know he agrees with me — it’s time to win.”

Pearl is the second-fastest coach in NCAA history to win 300 games, needing only 382 games to reach that plateau.