Saturday, February 4, 2023

Bruce Pearl Back Coaching in the SEC

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Bruce Pearl

Bruce Pearl returns to an SEC coaching bench next season at Auburn University, after three year suspension from college basketball.
Pearl formerly coached at Tennessee from 2005 to 2011 and took his team to the NCAA tournament each year, before being fired and moving to ESPN as a basketball analyst.
“I’m humbled and blessed to be 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.”
Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs talked about the new hire of Pearl on the school’s athletic website:
“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,” Jacobs said.
During his time at Tennessee, he was caught lying to the NCAA for recruitment violations of Aaron Craft, who now plays at Ohio State. The violations from March 2011 required that Pearl not have any contact with potential recruits for three years. The ruling will expire in August, according to
Pearl replaces Tony Barbee, who Auburn fired last Wednesday after a 74-56 loss to South Carolina in the first round of the SEC Tournament. This past season, Auburn ended with a 14-16 overall record and 6-12 in the SEC. During Barbee’s tenure with the Tigers his record was 49-75.
– Adam Brown is sports editor for He can contacted by emailing