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Tennessee introduces Pearl as new coach
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Old 28 Mar 2005, 03:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tennessee introduces Pearl as new coach

Tennessee introduces Pearl as new coach


March 28, 2005
SportsLine.com wire reports



KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Bruce Pearl was introduced as Tennessee's basketball coach Monday after leading Wisconsin-Milwaukee on a surprising run through the NCAA Tournament.


Pearl took 12th-seeded Wisconsin-Milwaukee to the round of 16 this year for the first time in the program's 109-year history. Tennessee failed to make the NCAATournament in four years under coach Buzz Peterson, who was fired March 13 after a 14-17 season. The Vols' last tournament appearance was 2001.

Pearl took 12th-seeded Wisconsin-Milwaukee to the round of 16 this year for the first time in the program's 109-year history.

Tennessee failed to make the NCAA Tournament in four years under coach Buzz Peterson, who was fired March 13 after a 14-17 season. The Vols' last tournament appearance was 2001.

"I have complete confidence that he will take our program to the next level," university president John Petersen said.

Tennessee gave Pearl a five-year contract and will pay him $800,000 a year, plus bonuses. Pearl made between $275,000 and $300,000 in base salary at Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

"It's truly a dream come true. I feel like I'm prepared," Pearl said.

School officials gave Pearl a Tennessee jersey with the No. 14, marking his 14th season as a coach.

Pearl said Tennessee will play unselfish, up-tempo ball and expects the Vols to consistently be a Top 10 team -- noting the Tennessee women regularly contend for the national title.

"It's time for us to hold our end up," Pearl said.

Tennessee women's coach Pat Summitt, whose name often comes up as a candidate to be the men's coach, said she has heard "great things" about Pearl.

Pearl spent nine years at Division II Southern Indiana and won the national championship there in 1995.

"He is a proven, nationally recognized winner," Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton said. "His teams are disciplined, mentally tough and exciting to watch."

Fifteen years ago, Pearl was an assistant coach at Iowa when he secretly taped a phone call to an Illinois recruit. He gave that tape to the NCAA and touched off a 16-month investigation that resulted in Illinois being banned from the postseason in 1991.

Illinois fans booed Pearl when Wisconsin-Milwaukee played Illinois in the semifinals of the Chicago Regional last week. Illinois won 77-63.

Pearl visited Knoxville on Saturday to tour the campus and meet school officials. Bobby Lutz of Charlotte and Pearl were the only interviewed candidates remaining to replace Peterson. Mike Anderson of UAB and Dana Altman of Creighton removed their names from consideration during the weekend.
AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2004-2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

http://cbs.sportsline.com/collegebas.../story/8334442
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