Philadelphia, PA, February 6, 2008 – Bruce Pearl, Head Coach at the University of Tennessee, has been officially appointed the head coach for Maccabi USA’s Open Men’s Basketball Team. The Team will compete at the 18th World Maccabiah Games in Israel, July 12 – 23, 2009. Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel is thrilled that Pearl has accepted the appointment and will join the USA Team in Israel in 2009.
“The opportunity to coach in the Maccabiah Games is a dream come true.” Pearl stated, “To represent the United States in international competition in a place that is the Jewish homeland is very special. I appreciate the total support that the University of Tennessee is giving me to help realize this dream.”
One of the most successful active college coaches, Pearl is in his third season at the University of Tennessee (UT) where his Volunteers are currently ranked No. 7 in the nation. In less than three full seasons at UT, Pearl has won 65 games and led the Volunteers to a 2006 Southeastern Conference Eastern Division championship and an appearance in the Sweet 16 of the 2007 NCAA Tournament.
The second-fastest active coach to reach the 300 career win milestone, Pearl has posted a 382-105 record in his 16th year as a head coach. His .784 career winning percentage ranks third among active coaches and he has led his teams to 14 postseason appearances, including a 1995 NCAA Division II national championship while at Southern Indiana. Six times he has earned conference coach-of-the-year honors and two times (1995 and 2006) he was named the national coach of the year.
Pearl’s teams have led their conference in scoring in all but one season that he has been a head coach. Tennessee is leading the Southeastern Conference for the third consecutive year under his leadership, averaging more than 80 points per game.
“We are pleased and delighted to have a coach of Bruce’s caliber join us for the 18th Maccabiah,” said Ron Carner, General Chair, USA 18th World Maccabiah Games Organizing Committee. Carner continued, “Bruce wears his Judaism on his sleeve and will be a tremendous draw in recruiting high quality athletes.”
About the organization:
Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel (MUSA) has an extensive history of enriching Jewish lives through athletic, cultural and educational programs. The organization is the official sponsor of the United States Team to the World Maccabiah Games, the Pan American Maccabi Games and the Maccabi competitions in Europe and Australia, as well as a co-founder of the JCC Maccabi Games for teens in North American. As the official Maccabi representative in the U.S., Maccabi USA supports Jewish athletic endeavors, enhanced by cultural and educational activities in the United States, Israel and throughout the Diaspora.
MUSA develops, promotes and supports international, national and regional athletic-based activities and facilities. We strive to provide Jewish athletes the world over, the opportunity to share their heritage and customs in competitive athletic settings. We support programs that embody the Maccabi ideals of Jewish continuity, Zionism and excellence in sport.
The World Maccabiah Games are a quadrennial event that takes place in Israel. The 18th World Maccabiah Games, scheduled for July 12 – 23, 2009 will be the world’s third largest international athletic competition. Over 9000 of the world’s best Jewish athletes from over 54 countries will compete at the Games.