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Bruce Pearl Joins UT as Head Men's Basketball Coach (3-28-05)

University of Tennessee men's athletic director Mike Hamilton announced Monday that Bruce Pearl will assume the reigns of the University of Tennessee basketball program.

"Bruce Pearl possesses all the criteria for success in men's basketball at the University of Tennessee. He is a proven, nationally-recognized winner, his teams are disciplined, mentally tough and exciting to watch," said Hamilton. "He is a relentless recruiter, a passionate promoter of his program, an excellent floor coach and a staunch family man. We are excited that he, Kim and their family are joining our family."

Pearl joins UT after four seasons at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (UWM), where he just completed the most successful season in school history - setting a school record with 26 wins and making its first-ever appearance in the Sweet 16.

During the Panthers' run to the Sweet 16, he was named one of 10 finalists for the National Coach of the Year honor with fellow coaches Bruce Weber of Illinois, Roy Williams of North Carolina, Skip Prosser of Wake Forest, Al Skinner of Boston College and Tubby Smith of Kentucky. He was named Coach of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) in 1995.

"I am excited to have Coach Pearl as a part of our program. He will be an excellent representative for the university and the state," said UT President Dr. John Petersen.

"I am excited to get such a quality individual on all levels. I have complete confidence that he will take our program to the next level."

In 13 seasons as a head coach, Pearl has compiled a 317-84 career record. During the 2004-05 campaign he became one of the fastest coaches in NCAA history to reach the 300-win milestone. Pearl needed just 382 games to reach the 300-win mark, second only to Roy Williams (Kansas and North Carolina), who needed 370 games.

Pearl spent four seasons at UWM, turning the Panthers into one of the top mid-major programs in the country. Under Pearl's direction last season, the Panthers won their second consecutive Division I regular-season league title made and their second NCAA Tournament appearance in three years. Among his many accomplishment at UWM, Pearl received the Horizon League Coach of the Year honors three of his four years.

Prior to joining UWM, Pearl was the head coach at Southern Indiana (USI) for nine seasons. During Pearl's tenure USI won the NCAA Division II national championship in 1995 and finished second nationally in 1994. In his final season at the Evansville, Ind., school, USI finished 26-4 and won the Great Lakes Valley Conference championship. His team was also ranked number one in the country for six times in seven seasons, and USI advanced to the NCAA Tournament for nine-straight times.

Prior to moving to USI, Pearl was an assistant coach for Dr. Tom Davis at the University of Iowa. During Pearl's six-year stay at Iowa, the Hawkeyes received five NCAA Tournament berths, advancing to the Elite Eight (1987) and the Sweet 16 (1988). Pearl helped Davis compile a 129-63 record in those six seasons. Pearl spent a total of 14 seasons as an assistant to Davis, also sitting alongside the head coach on the benches of Stanford and Boston College.

UT has reached an agreement in principle with Pearl for a five-year contract worth $800,000 a year plus bonuses and camp money. Pearl's base salary is $225,000. In addition, Pearl receives monies for radio and television commitments of $250,000, an equipment and apparel fee of $225,000, and an endorsement and appearance fee of $100,000.

Pearl, a native of Boston, received his bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Boston College in 1982, graduating Cum Laude. Pearl and his wife, Kim, have two daughters, Jacqui (18) and Leah (10), and two sons, Steven (16) and Michael (8).
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