As was speculated, Memphis officially introduced Penny Hardaway as the new head men’s basketball coach in a press conference on Tuesday. Hardaway is a Memphis legend, born in poverty before achieving greatness at Memphis and in the NBA. The 4x All-Star has been active in the Memphis community since his retirement from the NBA in 2007.
“This is an unbelievable day,” he told the press, “I’m not coming here to be a face. I’m here to make a difference.”
While this is the first collegiate coaching gig for Penny, he seems tailor-made for the job. Having the local hero and alum as the leader of the program should spark some excitement and interest that has been missing over the past five years.
Hardaway has coaching experience, most recently at Memphis East High School where he won three consecutive state titles. He also has extensive ties to the AAU circuit, forming and coaching the Memphis-based Team Penny.