Knoxville (WVLT) - Sports Overtime's Mark Packer spoke with UT Athletic Director Mike Hamilton, who confirmed Bruce Pearl has withdrawn his name from the Iowa coaching search.
Pearl Spoke with Iowa officials Tuesday morning and expressed his appreciation for their interest, however he says he is very happy with the direction of the Tennessee program and has no plans to leave.
University of Iowa received permission to talk to Coach Pearl about their opening Monday evening.
In a release sent out Tuesday afternoon, Coach Pearl says “My family and I are very happy here and appreciate the great support we’ve received from the Tennessee family - including Dr. Petersen, Mike Hamilton, Coach Fulmer, Coach Summitt and, of course, the fans. We feel very fortunate and blessed to be the men’s basketball coach at the University of Tennessee."
Pearl was an assistant coach at Iowa from 1986-1992 under head coach Tom Davis.
"It was never a consideration for me to leave Tennessee. I had a phone conversation with Iowa’s athletic director early this morning as a courtesy for a place I have coached at and have great respect for," Pearl said in the release. "The University of Iowa is an outstanding school, and I know they will find a quality coach to continue their strong tradition of great basketball."
Since he came to Tennessee, the Vols have made the NCAA Tournament both years and are primed for a serious run next season with 8 of their top 9 players returning.
Currently Pearl makes $1.1 million at Tennessee, which will be bumped up to $1.3 after the season.
Word out of Iowa is that the Hawkeyes were prepared to offer Pearl approximately $1.75 million.