Bruce Pearl

Bruce Pearl (born March 18, 1960)

Current position: Head men’s basketball coach
Current team: Auburn Tigers
Current conference: Southeastern Conference (SEC)
Southern Indiana record^: 231–46 (.834)
Milwaukee record: 86-38 (.694)
Tennessee record: 145-61 (.704)
Auburn record: 166-98 (.629)
Overall record^: 628-243 (.721)

Career Accomplishments:

Awards:

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

2014-present Auburn
2005-2011 Tennessee
2001-2005 Milwaukee
1992-2001 Southern Indiana
1986-1992 Iowa (asst)
1982-1986 Stanford (asst)

Bruce Pearl Facts

  • Bruce Allan Pearl
  • Born March 18, 1960
  • Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Alma Mater: Boston College (BS, 1982)
  • Served as a team manager during his undergrad years at Boston College for head coach Tom Davis
  • Started his coaching career in 1982, following Davis to Stanford as an assistant for four seasons
  • Moved to Iowa with Davis in 1986 to become an assistant coach for the Hawkeyes, holding that position for six seasons
  • While an assistant at Iowa, instigated an NCAA investigation into the Illinois basketball program after recording a phone call with Chicago recruit Deon Thomas, who had chosen to attend Illinois over Iowa
    • During the call, Thomas seemed to indicate that he’d been offered cash and an SUV by Illinois asst Jimmy Collins
    • The transcripts of the call were turned over to the NCAA by Pearl, which triggered the investigation
    • The NCAA did not find any wrongdoing in Thomas’ recruitment, but uncovered several unrelated violations
  • Was the head coach at then-Division II Southern Indiana for nine seasons, compiling an overall record of 231-46 (.834)
  • Spent four years as the head coach at Milwaukee, going 86-38 and reaching the postseason three times (two NCAAs)
  • Hired in 2005 to be the head coach of the Tennessee Vols, a position he would hold for the next six seasons
    • Won 145 games at UT, going to the NCAA Tournament every season and reaching the Sweet Sixteen three times
    • Claimed three SEC regular season titles during his time in Knoxville
    • Subject of an NCAA investigation after inviting a recruit to his home in Knoxville during the player’s unofficial campus visit to Tennessee
      • Lied about the cookout to investigators and also encouraged other attendees, including the recruit’s father, to lie
      • The lies turned a minor offense into a major one (per the NCAA); Pearl was fired and subsequently given a three-year “show cause” penalty
  • Spent some time working outside of basketball before being hired as the new head coach at Auburn in March 2014
    • Led the Tigers to a share of the SEC title in 2018, the program’s first since the 1998-99 season, and a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003
    • The following year, Pearl’s team won the 2019 SEC Tournament and reached the NCAA Final Four for the first time in program history
    • In 2022, Pearl’s Tigers achieved a #1 ranking in the AP Poll for the first time in program history
    • Signed an eight-year extension (through 2030) in January 2022 that made him one of the highest paid coaches in the country
  • Inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in 2008
  • Along with his wife, Brandy, has two daughters and two sons

Bruce Pearl Coaching Tree

 

^ overall record includes head coaching positions at both the NCAA Division I and Division II levels

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