New job, new career for Bruce Pearl

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Bruce Pearl has a new gig. The former Volunteer men's basketball head coach will join H.T. Hackney Co. as Vice-President, Marketing on Thursday, the Knoxville-based company announced.

“I worked for 33 years – my entire coaching career – to get to a place like Knoxville," Pearl said. “This is where my family lives, this is home. We have made life-long friends here and we are very blessed to have this opportunity.”

For those questioning if the former coach can make it in the business world, H.T. Hackney pointed out he was a Marketing and Economics major at the Boston College School of Management.

Chairman and CEO Bill Samson said Pearl will bring freshness, enthusiasm, and a strategic vision to the company. “I’ve known Bruce Pearl for years – his leadership, competitiveness and understanding of marketing is a great fit for our organization,” Samson added.

Pearl posted a 145-61 (65-31 in the SEC) in six years as the Volunteers head coach, leading the team to its first No. 1 ranking in its history. He was fired in March 2011 amid an NCAA investigation, which resulted in a three year show-cause penalty last week.

Forbes magazine ranked H.T. Hackney as the 82nd largest privately-held company in the country, with annual revenues of nearly four billion dollars.

According to company figures, the food wholesaler, founded in 1891, delivers more than 25,000 items such as frozen foods, health and beauty items, and deli products in addition to other services.

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  • by racer dave Location: knoxville on Aug 31, 2011 at 05:36 AM
    Jim is just jealous he didn't get invited to Bruce's cookout....
  • by John Location: Powell on Aug 31, 2011 at 12:21 AM
    Bruce Pearl did an exceptional job as basketball coach while at UT. The record (both games won and contributions acquired) makes that clear. However like a Christian Conservative a lie is not a lie when said by a Christian leader. Simply listen to our church leaders. Bruce apparently believed that and went with it. The worst part was after being caught the first time he figured he could get away with it a second time because he was Bruce Pearl. So he lied some more. UT lost a good coach. I hope H. T. Hackney is getting a good man. The big question will be how much trust will he receive from his customers, and his subordinates. I wish him well. With all the energy Pat has I hope she can knock some sense into his head.
  • by Coach Pearl Fan Location: Knoxville on Aug 30, 2011 at 10:43 PM
    Coach Pearl put Tn mens basketball on the map. Ktown is lucky to have you and your family. He & his coaching skills is the only reason we watched the Vols basketball team. It's always the lady vols & football. The Coach Pearl came to town. Good luck in your new career & hope you continue to move forward in life.
  • by John Location: Knoxville on Aug 30, 2011 at 07:35 PM
    H. T. Hackney could not have chosen a better V.P of Marketing! Coach Pearl will bring his exuberance and know how to this position with great results just as he brought coaching skills to UT Men's Basketball. Glad he is staying in Knoxville.
  • by Jim Location: Lenoir City on Aug 30, 2011 at 05:17 PM
    I am sick of you calling him coach, he is not a coach and does not deserve to be called coach. His actions set Tennessee sports back 10 years. Sorry to hear he is staying around Knoxville. He should go back to Illinois


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