Update: It’s being widely reported that Pearl has officially been hired as Auburn’s next head basketball coach. We’ll update this post with details as they become available.
— Auburn Athletics (@AUAthletics) March 18, 2014
Earlier: Former Tennessee head basketball coach Bruce Pearl could be headed back to the SEC – but not with the Vols. According to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, Pearl met with Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs to discuss taking the Tigers’ vacant head coaching job. Pearl coached at UT for six years before being firing after a series of NCAA violations came to light. He has a show-cause penalty until August of 2014. Pearl is currently employed by ESPN as a college basketball analyst.
Pearl took Tennessee to six straight NCAA tournaments, even reaching the Elite Eight in 2010. Auburn has not qualified for the big dance since 2003.
There is a strong contingent of Tennessee fans who would like to see Pearl return to their program. Last month, we saw a petition with over 10,000 signatures of fans in favor of the idea of rehiring him. Oddly enough, it’s now possible that he could become a rival.