Pearl hired as Auburn's men's basketball coach

By: local8now.com staff
By: local8now.com staff
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AUBURN, Ala. (WVLT/AP) -- Auburn has hired former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl to lead a struggling basketball program.

Watch the press conference live at 8 p.m. EST by clicking the link to the right.

The school announced the hiring on Tuesday of the charismatic coach, who remains under a show-cause penalty from the NCAA.

Tennessee fired Pearl in March 2011 after six seasons at Tennessee in the wake of an NCAA investigation. He led the Volunteers to the NCAA tournament in each of his six seasons.

Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs calls Pearl "a proven winner who will bring energy and excitement to our program" and says, "We have raised the bar for Auburn basketball.

The Tigers haven't been to the NCAA tournament since 2003, the longest drought of any Southeastern Conference program.

Auburn fired Tony Barbee hours after a first-round SEC tournament loss.

A look back at Pearl's time at Tennessee:
(Credit: utsports.com)

2005-06 Season

Record: 22-8
SEC Finish: 12-4
Postseason: NCAA Second Round
Coach: Bruce Pearl (1st season)

First-year head coach Bruce Pearl was named The Sporting News' National Coach of the Year in leading the Vols to a 22-8 record and the SEC Eastern Division championship. UT received a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the highest seed in school history. Chris Lofton earned second-team All-America honors after breaking almost all of UT’s 3-point records.

2006-07 Season

Record: 24-11
SEC Finish: 10-6
Postseason: NCAA Sweet Sixteen
Coach: Bruce Pearl (2nd season)

The Vols advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament while posting the second-most wins (24) in school history. Chris Lofton was named a consensus second-team All-America and earned Associated Press SEC Player of the Year honors. UT posted a 16-0 record at Thompson-Boling Arena.

2007-08 Season

Record: 31-5
SEC Finish: 14-2 (1st East)
Postseason: NCAA Sweet Sixteen
Coach: Bruce Pearl (3rd season)

UT set a school record for wins with a 31-5 record while winning its ninth SEC title with a 14-2 conference mark. The Vols earned the first No. 1 ranking in school history and then advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year. Chris Lofton was named second-team All- America and was joined on the first-team All-SEC squad by Tyler Smith. Bruce Pearl was named SEC coach of the year and earned Adolph Rupp National Coach of the Year honors.

2008-09 Season

Record: 21-13
SEC Finish: 10-6 (1st East)
Postseason: NCAA First Round
Coach: Bruce Pearl (4th season)

The Vols celebrated their 100th season of varsity basketball, fourth-year head coach Bruce Pearl recorded his 400th career victory, Tyler Smith recorded the first triple-double in school history, the Big Orange logged the 22nd 20-win season in school history, UT played its way to the SEC Eastern Division Championship, and the Vols advanced to the SEC Tournament Championship Game for the first time since 1991.

2009-10 Season

Record: 28-9
SEC Finish: 11-5 (3rd East)
Postseason: NCAA Elite Eight
Coach: Bruce Pearl (5th season)

This group of Vols became the first Tennessee men's basketball team to advance to the Elite Eight, coming from behind to defeat Ohio State 76-73 in the Sweet Sixteen. They fell just short of the Final Four, losing to Michigan State by a single point at 70-69. Overall, UT was 28-9 on the season, 11-5 in the SEC, and lost only one game at home.

2010-11 Season

Record: 19-15
SEC Finish: 8-8 (5th East)
Postseason: NCAA First Round
Coach: Bruce Pearl (6th season)

Tennessee got off to a running start, opening the season 7-0 and upsetting then No. 7 Villanova in the championship of the NIT Tip-Off Classic. However, the rest of the season proved tumultuous as the Vols suffered several narrow losses to finish 19-15 on the year.


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