Former Tennessee assistant coach Steve Forbes is back in business as the new coach at Northwest Florida State College, a Division I junior college in Niceville, Fla., near Fort Walton Beach.
"I'm excited to be a head coach at one of premier junior college programs in the country,'' said Forbes, who accepted the job Tuesday and will go under contract at the Florida school on Aug. 1. "We have a brand-new, $31 million arena that opened in January, and a beautiful campus in a great place to live.''
Forbes, who was fired along with the rest of Bruce Pearl's staff on March 21 in the wake of an NCAA investigation into recruiting improprieties, will be compensated by UT through July 31.
"I have nothing but fond memories at Tennessee from five straight NCAA tournaments, three Sweet 16s and an Elite Eight,'' said Forbes, who left Texas A&M to join the UT staff after Pearl's first season with the Vols.
Forbes who was last a head coach from 1995-98 at Barton County (Kan.) Community College, where he was 68-28, said he wishes he could have gotten the job in Florida under better circumstances.
"Bruce Stewart has been the long-time head coach here, and he's fallen ill,'' Forbes said, referring to Stewart's brain tumor. "I have a lot of respect for him and what he accomplished here, and he's a great man and someone we're praying for to get healthy.''
Stewart coached at Middle Tennessee State 1985-91, leading the Blue Raiders to the NCAA tournament three times.