The Auburn Tigers have hired Bruce Pearl as the team’s new men’s basketball coach. The news was first reported by CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish, and later confirmed by the school and Pearl.
“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 moved swiftly in replacing former coach Tony Barbee, who was fired six days ago following an SEC Tournament loss. Barbee had a 49-75 record during his four years on The Plains; his teams never finished over .500.
In a statement about the new hire, Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs had the following to say:
“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,” said Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs. “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 is on the tail-end of a three year show-cause penalty with the NCAA, stemming from his tenure at Tennessee. His sanction ends in August of this year. Pearl has a career D1 coaching record of 317-137.