Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs has made a big splash by hiring former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl as the Tigers' new men's basketball coach, according to the school. Pearl's hire ends a whirlwind six-day search that focused its energy on him. "I'm humbled and blessed to 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." Jacobs, who led the search alone and promised to conduct the search for a new basketball coach quickly, has now remade his top sports, landing Gus Malzahn for the football program, stealing Sunny Golloway away from Oklahoma for baseball, hiring two-time national champion Clint Myers for softball and now landing Pearl, a proven coach coming off of a show-cause. "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. "Coach Pearl is a proven winner who will bring energy and excitement to our program. We have raised the bar for Auburn basketball, and I could not be more excited for our student-athletes and our future under Coach Pearl’s leadership. I know he agrees with me — it’s time to win." Pearl, who was instantly identified as a top candidate for the job after Jacobs fired Tony Barbee following Auburn's SEC Tournament loss, is a proven coach with a 231-99 record in 10 seasons at the Division I level, piling up eight NCAA Tournament appearances, three Sweet Sixteen finishes and one Elite Eight. Before he was hired at UW-Milwaukee, Pearl spent 10 years at NCAA Division II Southern Indiana, where he won the national championship. Pearl, 54, has been working as an ESPN analyst and the vice president of marketing for the H.T. Hackney Company, also comes with some baggage. He is in the final months of a three-year show-cause penalty levied, a penalty that requires a school to produce evidence to the NCAA for hiring him and bans him from recruiting until the show-cause expires on Aug. 23 of this year. In 2008, Pearl hosted three recruits, including current Ohio State star Aaron Craft at his home for a cookout – an NCAA secondary violation – and then lied about the cookout to the NCAA, turning a secondary violation into a major violation. But Auburn feels like it's well-equipped to take on a coach with Pearl's history.
Auburn hires Bruce Pearl as men's basketball coach
Alabama | Mar 18