Not even a week after watching his kids quit in game and subsequently get drubbed by Michigan, Bruce Pearl was relieved of his duties as Tennessee’s head coach. Pearl, who initially appeared to have the backing of Tennessee officials after he was ruled by the NCAA to have violated recruiting rules, was informed of the change in plans Monday morning.
Speculation swirled prior to Tennessee’s opening round game of Pearl’s season ending fate after a total 180 from Volunteer Athletic Director Mike Hamilton in answering questions regarding Pearl’s job status in February as opposed to this past week. Easily the most animated coach in college basketball, Pearl posted the following on his Facebook page after learning of his dismissal:
“As many of you know, I have been fired as head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers. This really does not come as a surprise to me, but my emotions are getting the best of me. This is perhaps the saddest day in my life. I loved everything about Tennessee, Knoxville and the Volunteers. These were the best years of my life.”
In six seasons, Pearl went 145-61 and led the Vols to six consecutive NCAA tourney appearances. It is safe to say that Pearl will no longer have any use for that GOD awful orange blazer.