The arena is smaller. He rides a scooter to campus instead of a courtesy car. There's no ESPN.
Unlike Jim Boeheim or Roy Williams, he has to double check that the uniforms get laundered and the ankles taped.
But when the official tosses the jump ball in the air, it's a familiar stage.
"Playing Kentucky or playing Chipola, it's the same deal," Steve Forbes said. "I coach five on five. It's just as important to the fans and the players."
For five years, Forbes called Knoxville and Thompson-Boling Arena home. He was an assistant coach on the Bruce Pearl teams that won an SEC title and went to two Sweet 16s and an Elite Eight.
Then the sweat hit the fan.
UT men's basketball as we had come to know it blew up. In the wake of NCAA misconduct charges, Pearl's staff scattered.
Pearl still is in Knoxville, out of coaching for now due to the three-year show-cause penalty issued by the NCAA. His assistants were tagged with one-year show-cause sanctions. The whole crew had to find work outside the NCAA realm.
Tony Jones took over Alcoa High School. Forbes, a former junior college player and coach, went back to his roots.
Last April he was chosen among 70 applicants for the head coaching job at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, just across the bay from Destin in the Panhandle.
He hired two friends, Jason Shay from Pearl's staff and Brooks Savage, a former UT manager and grad assistant.
"I'm a juco coach with a Division I staff," said Forbes, who was in town to visit his daughter, a senior at UT.
He has Division I talent, too. The Raiders finished the regular season this week at 26-1 and ranked No. 2 nationally.
If they reach the national juco tournament in Kansas next month, they might run into another former Pearl assistant. Scott Edgar's Eastern Oklahoma is ranked No. 8.
Forbes' star is freshman point guard Chris Jones, a one-time UT signee from Memphis. Jones is one reason 84 different scouts have watched the Raiders practice this year.
"He'll have his pick," Forbes said.
Thursday, Jones and Forbes were named conference player and coach of the year, respectively.
Despite the contentious ending to his tenure at UT, Forbes' gym door is open to all comers, including the Vols.
"It's not my job to tell anybody who to recruit," he said.
Forbes helped recruit most of the current Vols. He catches them on TV as often as he can.
"I'm proud of 'em," he said. "Early on, they were still trying to find themselves. They've become a reflection of their coach."
Forbes thought he would miss the bright lights and big arenas. He claims he hasn't.
His pay is less than a third what it was at UT. Shay took an even more drastic cut. Both of their wives returned to teaching to help pay the bills.
"I wanted my quality of life back that I hadn't had in a long time," Forbes said. "I got it back."
He sleeps in his own bed virtually every night. He gets to watch his son's games at Niceville High. Since he returned his courtesy car to UT, he putters around Niceville on his scooter, a present from Pearl several years ago.
"You downsize," Forbes said. "But I bet I haven't spent 120 dollars on gas since last April.
"It really sucks," he added, "to be 70 degrees all the time and 10 minutes from the beach."
Yeah, I'm sure it does, Steve.
While a Niceville juco was a nice place to recover from the traumatic ending at UT, Forbes faces a decision. He is in demand by any number of Division I coaches looking for a proven assistant with solid recruiting ties.
His show-cause sentence served, the bright lights and big paychecks beckon. Like his star, Jones, he could have his pick.
"I've been asked that a lot," Forbes said. "I'm happy doing what I'm doing. But you never say never."
First, the postseason will start. There will be uniforms to wash and bus rides to endure.
And when the official tosses the ball in the air, there will be five guys to coach and an opponent to beat. Chipola or Kentucky, for those 40 minutes it's the same deal.