Barbee will be the new head coach of Central Michigan, succeeding Keno Davis. This will be the third time Barbee will have the chance to run his own program.
The last time didn’t work out so well. In four seasons at Auburn (2010-14), Barbee compiled a 49-75 overall record and his team dealt with a myriad of off-the-court issues.
Barbee’s first stint as a head coach worked out much better. He went 82-52 at UTEP from 2006-10, finishing as the CBI runner-up in 2009 and earning an NCAA Tournament bid the following year.
Central Michigan is hiring Kentucky assistant Tony Barbee as its next head coach, sources told ESPN.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) April 22, 2021
Barbee played for Calipari at UMass from 1989-93 before beginning his coaching career. His departure from Kentucky is part of a major reshuffling of Calipari’s staff this offseason.
Assistant coach Joel Justus is also leaving and will take the top assistant position at Arizona State. Current Illinois and former Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua is reportedly the top candidate to rejoin Calipari’s staff.
Brad Calipari, John’s son and a former Kentucky walk-on, is also likely to come onboard in some capacity, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.