Bruce Allan Pearl (born March 18, 1960) is the head coach of the men's basketball program at Auburn University. He is best known for serving as head coach of the University of Tennessee Volunteers men's team. He is a graduate of Boston College, where he obtained his first position as an assistant basketball coach. He was the first coach to lead the Volunteers to a national #1 ranking. Pearl also served as the head coach for the Maccabi USA basketball team in the 2009 World Maccabiah Games.
Early life and family
A native of Boston, Pearl attended Sharon High School in Sharon, Massachusetts and is a 1982 graduate of Boston College. He and his ex-wife, Kimberly, have two daughters, Jacqui and Leah and two sons, Steven, who was on the Tennessee basketball team for four years, and Michael.
Early coaching career
Pearl was the head coach at Milwaukee and, prior to that, at University of Southern Indiana, where he won a Division II national championship. He also served as an assistant coach at the University of Iowa under then-head coach Tom Davis.
Among his accolades, Pearl is the second-fastest NCAA coach to reach 300 victories, and needed only 382 games to reach this mark (Roy Williams, the current coach at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, needed 370 games at the University of Kansas to reach this milestone). It should be noted, however, that all of Williams' victories came at the Division I level, whereas a portion of Pearl's victories came in Division II, and contributed to his rise to the Division I ranks.
At Tennessee, Pearl coached for six seasons, amassing a 145-61 record, going 65-31 in the SEC. In 2011, Pearl was suspended for three years by the NCAA for lying about recruiting violations, where he invited a recruit to a cookout at his house, then lied about the incident afterwards.
On March 18, 2014, Auburn University Athletic Director Jay Jacobs announced the hiring of Pearl as the next head coach of the Auburn Tigers men's basketball team. On the opportunity, Pearl signed a 6-year contract worth $2.2 million per year with a $100,000 annual escalator.
|Auburn University Head Men's Basketball Coach