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Bruce Pearl through the years

University of Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl cheers on the the Lady Vols before the start of their game against No. 1 Duke on Monday at Thompson-Boling Arena in 2007.

Photo by Saul Young

University of Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl cheers on the the Lady Vols before the start of their game against No. 1 Duke on Monday at Thompson-Boling Arena in 2007.

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  • Then Wisconsin-Milwaukee coach Bruce Pearl carries his daughter, Leah, 11, off the court after beating Boston College, 83-75, in the second round of the NCAA tournament in 2005. Following his 12th-seeded team's upset wins over 5th seed Alabama and the 4th-Eagles, Tennessee hired coach Pearl to take over in the wake of Buzz Peterson's dismissal.
  • Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl and his wife Kim accept a Tennessee Jersey from UT President John Petersen while he is introduced during a press conference to name him as the new coach at Thompson-Boling Arena on March 28, 2005.
  • New Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl watches the Lady Vols play Rutgers in Philadelphia with Athletics Director Mike Hamilton, one day after being introduced in Knoxville as the Vols' new head coach in 2005.
  • Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl points to student fans as the final minute of their 106-83 victory over ETSU on Nov. 18, 2005, Pearl's first win as coach of the Vols.
  • Tennessee's Dane Bradshaw steals the ball from Texas' A.J. Abrams, right, Dec. 17, 2005, in the Vols' 95-78 win in Austin. The game, played before a national TV audience, was a watershed moment for Tennessee in terms of exposure and in fans' belief in Pearl.
  • Tennessee's C.J. Watson shoots over Florida's Lee Humphrey during the Vols' 80-76 upset of No. 2 Florida on Jan. 21, 2006.
  • University of Tennessee student Tim Ainger shows a sign with the sentiment of many Vols fans after Tennessee upset No. 2 Florida, 80-76, in 2006.
  • Tennessee teammates Major Wingate, left, and Stanley Asumnu cheer from the sidelines after Chris Lofton scored two of his team-high 31 points against Kentucky at Rupp Arena in UT's 75-67 win on Feb. 7, 2006.
  • Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl congratulates Chris Lofton after his 31-point game against Kentucky in 2006. Tennessee won in Lexington, 75-67.
  • Florida's Joakim Noah, left, falls back after getting hit in the face by Tennessee's C. J. Watson's as Watson grabs a rebound in the second half of Tennessee's 76-72 comeback win in Gainesville in 2006. The game was made famous for a number of things, including Bruce Pearl's sweat-soaked sports coat, Dane Bradshaw's last-second steal and layup, and the Vols' clinching the SEC East on the Gators' home court to cap Pearl's first season.
  • Tennessee teammates C.J. Watson, Stanley Asumnu, and Andre Patterson celebrate with Chris Lofton after Lofton hit a game-winning shot against Winthrop during a first round NCAA tournament game in 2006 at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C. The Vols won the game 63-61.
  • Tennessee fans erupt as Tennessee's Dane Bradshaw (23) celebrates his game-winning basket against Oklahoma State in Nashville on Dec. 18, 2006. Tennessee won 79-77 after Bradshaw, playing with a shoulder so sore he had trouble raising his arms over his head, tipped in a rebound at the buzzer.
  • Chris Lofton shoots a three-pointer over Texas defender Kevin Durant during UT's 111-105 overtime win in 2006. Lofton scored a career-high 35 points to lead the Vols.
  • University of Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl cheers on the the Lady Vols before the start of their game against No. 1 Duke on Monday at Thompson-Boling Arena in 2007.
  • Tennessee's Steven Pearl, left, Josh Tabb, center, and coach Bruce Pearl, right, react during Tennessee's 121-86 win over Long Beach State in the first round of the 2007 NCAA men's basketball tournament. The point total is the most Tennessee has ever scored in an NCAA tournament game.
  • Bruce Pearl's ( right ) chest-painting stunt at a Lady Vols basketball game last season continued to get chuckles in a 2007 Big Orange Caravan stop in Sevierville. Pearl quipped that just a little exposure by him has led to a lot of exposure for Tennessee. University of Tennessee Football Coach Phil Fulmer listens and watches Coach Pearl.
  • The Tennessee men's team huddle before the start of the Temple game on Nov. 9, 2007, at Thompson-Boling Arena. The No. 7-ranked Vols won their season opener, 80-63 in their first game at the newly-renovated arena.
  • Tennessee's JaJuan Smith is caught between Vanderbilt's AJ Ogilvy and Jermaine Beal at Thompson-Boling Arena during the Vols' 80-60 home win in 2008 as Bruce Pearl watches from the sidelines.
  • Bruce Pearl, coach of then-No. 2 Tennessee, is greeted by fans as he arrives at a pep rally prior to the Vols' game against No. 1 Memphis in Memphis on Feb. 23, 2008.
  • Tennessee guard J. P. Prince celebrates as he leaves the court after No. 2 Tennessee beat No. 1 Memphis 66-62 in Memphis on Feb. 23, 2008. With the win, the Vols moved to No. 1 for the first, and to date, only, time in program history.
  • Tennessee guard Bobby Maze celebrates after a score late in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Georgetown in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. on Nov. 28, 2008. Tennessee won 90-78.
  • Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl calls out to his team during the second half of Tennessee's 90-78 win over Georgetown in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. in, 2008.
  • Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl, left, and assistant Tony Jones, right, yell to their team as the Vols play Vanderbilt in the first half of Tennessee's 76-63 win in Vanderbilt in 2009.
  • Tennessee's Tyler Smith, right, shoots for three of his 30 points during the second half of Tennessee's 69-50 win in Knoxville in 2009 as Bruce Pearl watches.
  • University of Tennessee head basketball coach Bruce Pearl places a hat back on Curtis Moneyhun's head after signing an autograph for him on the lawn of Allandale Mansion in Kingsport during a stop on their Big Orange Caravan tour.
  • University of Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl answers media questions on Jan. 4 at Thompson-Boling Arena in response to four of his players -Brian Williams, Tyler Smith, Melvin Goins and Cameron Tatum - players suspended after being arrested on drug and weapons charges.
  • Coach Bruce Pearl and Tennessee starters Wayne Chism, J.P. Prince, Renaldo Woolridge, Scotty Hopson and Bobby Maze wait for the tipoff of the Charlotte game at Thompson-Boling Arena on Jan. 6, 2010. UT won 88-71 despite being without the services of the four suspended players who were arrested on New Year's day on drug and gun charges.
  • Tennessee's Bobby Maze takes to the air for the basket after getting past Kansas' Sherron Collins. Maze had 16 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds. Tennessee upsets number one ranked Kansas 76-68 at Thompson-Boling Arena on Jan 10, 2010.
  • Tennessee head basketball coach Bruce Pearl reacts to a play during the game against Kansas. Tennessee upset number one-ranked Kansas 76-68 at Thompson-Boling Arena on Jan 10, 2010, despite being severely undermanned due to four players being suspended.
  • Tennessee's Skylar McBee makes a clutch 3-point shot in the final seconds of the game against Kansas in 2010 with the shot clock winding down. UT upset number one-ranked Kansas 76-68 at Thompson-Boling Arena.
  • Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl calls a play during the game against Kentucky at Thompson-Boling Arena on Feb. 27, 2010. The Vols defeated the Wildcats 74-65.
  • Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl, second from left, smiles after his team defeated Kentucky 74-65 at Thompson-Boling Arena in 2010 while listening to the pep band play the Tennessee Waltz following the game.
  • Tennessee clears the bench after defeating Ohio State 76-73 to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time during the NCAA tournament at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo., on Mar. 26, 2010.
  • Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl waits during a press conference as J.P. Prince leaves after answering questions at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo., on Mar. 28, 2010, following the Vols' season-ending 70-69 loss to Michigan State in the Elite Eight.
  • University of Tennessee men's basketball Coach Bruce Pearl expresses remorse for giving misleading information to the NCAA during press conference on Sep. 10, 2010 at the Stokely Family Media Center at Neyland Stadium. Pearl's compensation was reduced by $1.5 million over the next five years as a result of a NCAA investigation into the Tennessee basketball program in June.
  • University of Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl, left, Knoxville Chancellor Dr. Jimmy Cheek, center, and Director of Athletics Mike Hamilton during a press conference Friday, Sep. 10, 2010 to discuss the 'Letter of Inquiry' from the NCAA concerning basketball recruiting.
  • Tennessee's Steven Pearl (22) stands next to his father, head coach Bruce Pearl, while holding up the championship trophy after defeating Villanova 78-68 in the finals of the NIT Season Tip-Off in New York.
  • Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl yells at his players during the Vols' season opener against Chattanooga at Thompson-Boling Arena on Nov. 12, 2010.
  • Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl, left, and assistant coach Jason Shay, left, call to their players as they take on Oakland at Thompson-Boling Arena on Dec. 14, 2010. The Vols lost 89-82 to the Golden Grizzlies.
  • Tennessee Coach Bruce Pearl yells instructions to his players during the Vols' 73-61 loss at Kentucky in 2011, Pearl's first game back after an 8-game SEC suspension.
  • Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl celebrates as he leaves the court after Tennessee upset No. 18 Vanderbilt 60-51 on Feb. 22. The Vols swept Vandy on the season.
  • Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl watches the results of the NCAA selection show at Thompson-Boling Anrea on March 13. The Vols fell to a No. 9 seed after losing 7 of their last 11 games following a start that included wins over Pitt and Villanova.
  • Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl walks back to the locker room after the Vols 75-45 loss to Michigan during the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte on March 18.
  • University of Tennessee alumni Bill Smith, Jim McDaniel and Sheron Smith, not pictured, painted the Rock in support of Tennessee Men's Basketball head coach Bruce Pearl prior to a rally in his support on campus on March 20 that drew around 150 people.

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