Jeff Lebo, head coach of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Mocs, will be introduced as head coach of the Tigers at a 3 p.m. press conference on Thursday.
Lebo interviewed on the AU campus on Wednesday and was offered the job on his trip to Auburn. In two seasons at UTC, the former University of North Carolina standout guard led the Mocs to records of 21-9 and 19-11. His first team at Chattanooga was that college's first 20-game winner since the 1996-97 season.
Lebo had previously met with Auburn officials at the Final Four in San Antonio last week. Auburn president Dr. Ed Richardson, who made the selection, notes that Lebo received the highest recommendation from Smith and another highly respected coach, Roy Williams, who is now head coach at North Carolina after a successful run at Kansas.
Lebo, who is 37, is one of two candidates for the job of replacing Cliff Ellis who interviewed on the Auburn campus. Jeff Capel, the 29-year-old head coach of Virginia Commonwealth, met with AU officials on Monday. UAB¹s Mike Anderson was expected to be on campus Tuesday, but instead met with University of Miami officials in Atlanta.
Lebo, who is 37 years old, was offered the Iowa State coaching job a year ago, but decided not to take the post. Prior to coaching at UTC, he made a name for himself as a head coach at Tennessee Tech where he took over in 1997-1998 as a 32-year-old head coach. His first team was 12-15 and improved to 16-12 and then to 20-9. His third team at Tech was the first to win 20 games since the 1946-47 squad. His 2001-2002 team did even better, posting a 27-7 overall mark and winning the OVC championship for the second straight time as his team posted a 15-1 conference mark.
Lebo has experience in the SEC as an assistant coach to Eddie Fogler at Vanderbilt and South Carolina. He also worked as an assistant coach at East Tennessee State. All three of those teams enjoyed postseason success while he was on those staffs.
He was a four-year starter at guard for North Carolina where he was an All-ACC performer and honorable mention All-American. Born in Enola, Pa., he was a four-time All-State player at Carlisle, Pa., before signing with North Carolina, where he graduated in 1989 with honors. He was presented the Patterson Award, given to the university's top student-athlete.