Pearl "I Will Definitely Listen"

Former Tennessee Coach Bruce Pearl talks about his interest in Auburn and his possible return to coaching.

Auburn, Ala.--Former Tennessee coach and current ESPN personality Bruce Pearl won't confirm whether he has heard from Auburn about its vacant head coaching job, but the successful coach said he's willing to listen if and when the time comes.

Speaking with WJOX out of Birmingham on his weekly appearance with the station, Pearl was asked if he had heard from Auburn yet in its search to replace the ousted Tony Barbee.

"I can't really speak to where other folks are at," Pearl said. "I will definitely listen. I'm not going to solicit schools. If they would like to contact me and talk about their opportunities, it's an honor and it's flattering. You see if it's the best thing for an institution and for me and my family and a coaching staff."

Given a three-year show-cause order from the NCAA after it was determined he lied to investigators, Pearl was fired in 2011 from Tennessee. His penalty ends this August and that means the possibility of getting back on the basketball court as a coach once again.

"Basketball is still very much in my life," Pearl said. "I miss the game. A lot is going to depend on timing and what is right, what is the right fit. Over the course of this period this year we'll look and we'll gauge what the interest is and we'll see what the fits are."

In addition to his time on ESPN, Pearl is also working with a private distribution company out of Knoxville at the moment until he's able to get back into coaching. Having led Tennessee to six NCAA Tournament appearances while with the Vols, Pearl is very familiar with Auburn and the potential of the program. As for what the future holds with the Tigers he said that remains to be seen.

"It has been a busy time," Pearl said. "I went up against Tony Barbee when I was at Tennessee and I thought he did a really good job of coaching. He's a good coach, but just could never quite get that roster to the point it needed to be in the league. That can happen.

"Auburn is a great school, a great institution and a great place," he added. "They've got history and tradition there. It's obviously going to attract a lot of interest."

Pearl was 145-61 in his six seasons at Tennessee and has an overall record of 231-99 in 10 seasons as a Division I head coach. He has been to the NCAA Tournament eight times in those 10 years.


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