Houston Fancher leaves Vols, joins Buzz Peterson's staff

Tennessee guard Josh Richardson (1) holds his chin after taking a fall during the second half against Kentucky while being helped by associate strength and conditioning coach Nicodemus Christopher, left, and director of basketball operations Houston Fancher, right, at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. Tennessee won 88-58 over Kentucky. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee guard Josh Richardson (1) holds his chin after taking a fall during the second half against Kentucky while being helped by associate strength and conditioning coach Nicodemus Christopher, left, and director of basketball operations Houston Fancher, right, at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. Tennessee won 88-58 over Kentucky. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Houston Fancher

Houston Fancher

The intertwining paths of Buzz Peterson and Houston Fancher have merged once again.

Fancher, following four seasons in the Tennessee men’s basketball program, will join Peterson’s staff at North Carolina-Wilmington as an assistant coach, the school announced Tuesday.

Fancher worked as an assistant for Peterson at Appalachian State from 1996-2000. The Newport native then took over the program and spent nine years as coach when Peterson was hired by Tulsa.

“It was going to take a unique opportunity to get me out of Knoxville,” Fancher told the News Sentinel on Tuesday. “I would classify this as a unique situation, going to work for a guy I’ve worked for and with. What’s more unique than that? It’s come full circle.”

Fancher came to UT as coordinator of video scouting under then-coach Bruce Pearl. He was retained when Cuonzo Martin took over as coach in 2011-12 and was promoted to director of basketball operations upon Martin’s arrival.

Fancher served as interim head coach of the Vols during the short transition period in March 2011 when Pearl was fired and Martin was hired.

Fancher, 47, was making $87,822 annually at UT.

Peterson, who coached UT for four years after one season at Tulsa, is entering his fourth season at North Carolina-Wilmington. Last week, he hired former UNC Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach as an assistant, who also shares ties with Fancher.

“There are mixed emotions. Tennessee is home, it’s a special place and my family’s time here has been magnificent,” Fancher said. “The atmosphere around this program has been a blast, but at the same time, I want to coach. This affords me that opportunity to get back out on the floor. I’m ready to get that whistle back around my neck and get busy.”

Before taking an administrative role with the Vols, Fancher spent 20 years as a college coach, including 12 as a head coach.

After replacing Peterson at ASU, Fancher posted a 137-136 record and won three Southern Conference North Division championships.

“When I got the job at Appalachian State, he was the first person I hired,” Peterson said in a UNC-Wilmington school release. “He’s a real fireball with great recruiting ties and a high energy level.”

Under Martin, Fancher was primarily responsible for scheduling, monitoring traveling arrangements and overseeing the program’s budget, equipment purchasing and NCAA compliance.

The in-house candidates to replace Fancher include director of video scouting Mark Pancratz, who has been with the program since 2006-07, and Marco Harris, the student-athlete welfare coordinator.

Martin’s director of basketball operations during his time as coach of Missouri State was Trevyor Fisher, who currently is the coach of Republic (Mo.) High School.

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn.

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Comments » 22

voloffaith writes:

" Bye Bye love..bye bye heartache....." So what is the latest BUZZ about UT bball? Best wishes Mr. Fancher...

samvol writes:

Good luck Francher, I wish you well. If you want to win games though, leave the Counzo defense without offense alone, it doesn’t work. .

keepitreal4vols writes:

Lets see: Leaves a $87,000 job for I assume less money job. Leaves the SEC for Division II. "wants" to join Buzz's staff again. Wasn't hired by coach Martin....Yep, he was fired.

xanga writes:

CCM = Fired...but not for 6 years. Thx Hamilton

voloffaith writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

Lets see: Leaves a $87,000 job for I assume less money job. Leaves the SEC for Division II. "wants" to join Buzz's staff again. Wasn't hired by coach Martin....Yep, he was fired.

No basis for comment..mere conjecture on your part.........Said wants back on the court in the mix.........good enough for ole dummy me.......

chattabluetick writes:

Most of the time with hires its all oysters but every once in a while you find a Pearl.

dvols writes:

did this open up a scholly?

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor wish Houston the best. Witch Doctor say love of coaching is the only reason hes leaving and will always be a Vol/Blue Raider at heart. Witch Doctor say go get'em!
Bones never lie.

1vavolfan writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

Lets see: Leaves a $87,000 job for I assume less money job. Leaves the SEC for Division II. "wants" to join Buzz's staff again. Wasn't hired by coach Martin....Yep, he was fired.

You may want to put a couple of thoughts together before posting. Fancher was promoted by Martin so it is unlikely he was fired. UNC-Wilmington is a D1 school in the Colonial Athletic conference, in the same division as George Mason who is a few years removed from a Final Four.

tennrich1 writes:

Losing a class guy to another class guy...wish him well and i wish we could have kept him...Great job for the orange Houston!!!

Ironcity writes:

in response to xanga:

CCM = Fired...but not for 6 years. Thx Hamilton

Good move for Fincher,he will likely be the interim coach when Buzz gets zinged again.

voloffaith writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Good move for Fincher,he will likely be the interim coach when Buzz gets zinged again.

His name is Fancher......goodday

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

Enter Chris Lofton!

chipmurphy461 writes:

in response to chattabluetick:

Most of the time with hires its all oysters but every once in a while you find a Pearl.

Touchè

govols26 writes:

in response to sly_stone99#434111:

Enter Chris Lofton!

Now that would be a great place for him! He would definitely show the guys the true meaning of hard work.

eb502us#225637 writes:

I give Francher credit as he definitely see's the writing on the wall. After all, he has first hand knowledge of just how bad a coach Peterson is.

He knows that: a) Peterson will be fired after next season and b) He will instantly become the top candidate to replace him.

Sure, he'll have to spend a full season listing to Peterson blame officials for making bad calls and the players for not following the game plan. He'll have to put up with all the talk around the program of when Peterson will actually get the ax. But he also knows what a sure bet looks like and that history often repeats itself, even if it' a little different scenario this time.

Just think, who would have ever thought that working with Buzz Peterson could be a career ascending move?

arkyvol writes:

no doubt peterson is a nice guy. whether he is a coach is another question.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to chattabluetick:

Most of the time with hires its all oysters but every once in a while you find a Pearl.

At about $10 a pint oysters can be worth more than a few Pearls. So it's not the best analogy. Besides I love oysters...especially oyster stew.

OH you mean Coach Pearl. I get it now. Or was it Steven you meant?

GreerVol22 writes:

Good luck Houston. We know your blood is Orange. Tough moving with kids but at least you have the summer to soften the blow.

Best wishes.

voloffaith writes:

in response to eb502us#225637:

I give Francher credit as he definitely see's the writing on the wall. After all, he has first hand knowledge of just how bad a coach Peterson is.

He knows that: a) Peterson will be fired after next season and b) He will instantly become the top candidate to replace him.

Sure, he'll have to spend a full season listing to Peterson blame officials for making bad calls and the players for not following the game plan. He'll have to put up with all the talk around the program of when Peterson will actually get the ax. But he also knows what a sure bet looks like and that history often repeats itself, even if it' a little different scenario this time.

Just think, who would have ever thought that working with Buzz Peterson could be a career ascending move?

Now that comment was spot.....off....speculation your honor and hearsay...they liked hearing themselves say it....But I will credit you for using four paragraphs to comment on Coach Fancher moving on........

haywoodchapman writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

Lets see: Leaves a $87,000 job for I assume less money job. Leaves the SEC for Division II. "wants" to join Buzz's staff again. Wasn't hired by coach Martin....Yep, he was fired.

Peterson hired former UNCA coach Bidenbach(sp?) at $108K
so I expect Fancher will make the same. With a chance to be named head coach when Buzz is fired in 1 or 2 years.His 3 year record is 33 wins 57 losses.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to haywoodchapman:

Peterson hired former UNCA coach Bidenbach(sp?) at $108K
so I expect Fancher will make the same. With a chance to be named head coach when Buzz is fired in 1 or 2 years.His 3 year record is 33 wins 57 losses.

Not only that, but Wilmington is a pretty nice place to spend a few years. My wife and I vacation in a nearby town. Not nearly the ratrace that Myrtle Beach is these days but nice enough and varied enough to cater to any taste or budget.

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