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The rise and fall of Bruce Pearl as seen in the News Sentinel frontpages

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See larger March 28, 2005: Bruce Pearl is introduced as Tennessee's coach.

Photo by News Sentinel staff

March 28, 2005: Bruce Pearl is introduced as Tennessee's coach.

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  • March 28, 2005: Bruce Pearl is introduced as Tennessee's coach.
  • Nov. 19, 2005: Bruce Pearl era starts with a win over ETSU.
  • Dec. 18, 2005: Tennessee, off to a hot start, gains national attention by drubbing Texas on its home floor in Austin.
  • Jan. 23, 2006: Unbeaten and No. 2 Florida comes to town with No. 1 Duke having lost earlier in the day, but leaves the victim of a surging Tennessee team.
  • Feb. 8, 2006: Tennessee's Chris Lofton scores 31 as the Vols knock off Kentucky in Lexington. After the game, Kentucky coach Tubby Smith expresses regret for not having recruited the Kentucky native.
  • Feb. 23, 2006: Tennessee completes sweep of Florida to win SEC East in Bruce Pearl's first season.
  • March 17, 2006: Chris Lofton buries a jumpshot from the corner near the buzzer to beat Winthrop as Tennessee wins its first NCAA tournament game since 2001.
  • Dec. 19, 2006: Tennessee's Dane Bradshaw, playing despite being barely able to lift his arms over his head due to a shoulder injury, tips in a shot at the buzzer as Bruce Pearl's Vols knock off Oklahoma State in Nashville.
  • Dec. 24, 2006: Tennessee's Chris Lofton drills a long-range three-pointer in the waning moments of regulation over future NBA all-star Kevin Durant of Texas as the Vols rally from 17 down to force overtime before eventually winning.
  • March 17, 2007: Tennessee scores 121 points in an NCAA tournament-opening win over Long Beach State, tying a school record.
  • Nov. 11, 2007: Bruce Pearl's Vols knock off Temple in the first game of a newly-renovated Thompson-Boling Arena.
  • Feb. 24, 2008: Tennessee hits No. 1 for the first time in the program's history following a win over No. 2 Memphis at the FedEx Forum.
  • Feb. 24, 2008: Before an ESPN-record audience for a men's college basketball game, Tennessee's Tyler Smith floats in a shot in the final moments as Bruce Pearl's No. 2 Vols stun No. 1 Memphis at the FedEx Forum.
  • Jan. 2, 2010: Tennessee's Tyler Smith, Melvin Goins, Brian Williams and Cameron Tatum are arrested on drug and firearm charges following a traffic stop.
  • Jan. 2, 2010: News of the arrests of Tyler Smith, Cameron Tatum, Melvin Goins and Brian Williams disappoints Bruce Pearl, who imposes immediate suspensions.
  • Jan. 9, 2010: Following an investigation, Tennessee's Tyler Smith is dismissed from the team.
  • Jan. 11, 2010: Missing four scholarship players, Bruce Pearl again lives up to his 'Big Game Bruce' persona as Tennessee shocks No. 1 Kansas in Knoxville.
  • Jan. 12, 2010: East Tennessee celebrates on of its own, Skylar McBee of nearby Grainger County, whose iconic three-pointer in the final minute as the shot clock expired helped define Tennessee's upset of No. 1 Kansas.
  • March 27, 2010: Tennessee's J.P. Prince blocks a late Ohio State shot attempt as the Vols knock off the Buckeyes to do what no Vols' team had done before: reach the Elite Eight.
  • Sept. 11, 2010: News breaks that, in addition to an investigation into the football team, the NCAA is looking into improper recruiting by Bruce Pearl and his Tennessee staff. The university announces financial penalties and recruiting restrictions in response.
  • Sept. 11, 2010: Tennessee announces financial and recruiting restrictions it is placing on Bruce Pearl and his staff for lying to NCAA investigators and other alleged violations.
  • Nov. 20, 2010: Having reviewed some of the allegations and in light of Bruce Pearl's admittance of lying to NCAA investigators, the SEC suspends Bruce Pearl for the Vols' first eight conference games.
  • Feb. 24, 2011: The NCAA releases its letter of allegations. While the football program at Tennessee is largely cleared, Bruce Pearl's basketball program finds out it is facing allegations of 12 major NCAA violations.
  • Feb. 24, 2011: The NCAA's list of allegations against UT is revealed. While most of the football ones are tied to the staff of former coach Lane Kiffin, the governing body says it has found 'failure' in both it and Bruce Pearl's basketball program.
  • March 17, 2011: On the eve of Tennessee's NCAA tournament game against Michigan, UT athletic director Mike Hamilton reveals in a radio interview that support for Bruce Pearl inside the university might not be what it once was. The Vols fall to Michigan, 75-45, two days later in what will be Pearl's last game as Vols' coach.
  • March 22, 2011: Following a successful six-year stint as coach, Tennessee fires Bruce Pearl and his staff. Houston Fancher is named interim head coach.
  • March 22, 2011: In announcing the firing of Bruce Pearl, Tennessee reveals a previously unknown alleged violation that occurred in March of 2011.
  • March 22, 2011: The Bruce Pearl era at Tennessee in reflection: six consecutive NCAA appearances, the Vols' first outright SEC title since 1967, the program's first No. 1 ranking, and a look at seven coaches that might follow in his steps.

From his hiring as Tennessee men's basketball coach in March of 2005 until his firing on March 21, 2011, Bruce Pearl was one of the most dynamic figures in Vols' history. The story of that rise and fall, as chronicled by the News Sentinel.

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Comments on this photo » 3

pj_ladyvolnMI writes:

These are both really fun and really sad to look at. Thanks for putting them up. VFL.

Razor784 writes:

It's both amazing and heartbreaking to look at. Good job KNS.

UofTNVol writes:

The KNS always leads the league in pitchfork wielders. Honestly, have you ever seen a more negative local paper?

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