Rick Barnes Will Become New Tennessee Basketball Coach
The University of Tennessee made quick work of finding a new basketball coach. Just four days after the school fired Donnie Tyndall amid NCAA investigations, Tennessee will name Rick Barnes head coach on Tuesday.
On the exterior, the move should be a smooth transition for Barnes. He leaves one UT for another UT and orange remains the primary color of his wardrobe. But his new job will present a few more challenges that his former school.
He takes over a team that finished 2015 with a 16-16 record after losing 11 of 15 games to end the year. Plus, he will no longer have the benefit of a fertile recruiting base in his backyard like he had in the state of Texas. Having missed just one NCAA Tournament in the past 20 seasons as a head coach, Barnes might struggle to have that same level of success in Knoxville.
But as the third coach in three years, Barnes should bring some much-needed stability to the Tennessee program. The 60-year-old led the Longhorns for 17 seasons, making 16 NCAA Tournament appearances and winning 20+ games in all but two seasons. Barnes might receive some criticism for making it out of the tournament's first weekend just five times in 15 tries at Texas, but Tennessee will bring in one of the most consistent coaches in the profession.
Barnes also has a little SEC coaching experience. He spent one season as an Alabama basketball assistant under Wimp Sanderson, where the team made a run to the Sweet 16.