The Auburn Tigers hired Bruce Pearl, who made six NCAA Tournaments at Tennessee before being fired for recruiting violations, as their next basketball coach on Tuesday.
“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.”
Pearl, 54, was fired in 2011 after taking Tennessee to the NCAA Tournament in each of his six seasons. He has worked for ESPN as an analyst the past two years.
Auburn fired Tony Barbee last week after the Tigers finished 14-16 and 6-12 in the SEC. He was 49-75 in four seasons at Auburn.
“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,” athletic director Jay 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 spent four seasons at Milwaukee and took the program to two NCAA tournaments — including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2005. He was hired at Tennessee in 2005 and was 145-61 in six seasons with the Vols.
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