UTEP's Barbee Named Auburn's Basketball Coach

University of Texas-El Paso coach Tony Barbee has been named as Auburn's new head men's basketball coach.

Auburn, Ala.--Tony Barbee, head basketball coach at the University of Texas El-Paso, will be introduced as head coach at Auburn to replace Coach Jeff Lebo at a press conference on Thursday in Auburn.

"We are thrilled to welcome Tony Barbee into the Auburn Family," Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said. "Coach Barbee has a vision of competing for championships at Auburn and the passion to get us there. He is a phenomenal coach, an outstanding recruiter and a fierce competitor.

"Coach Barbee also shares Auburn values and is the right man to lead our team and represent Auburn University and the Auburn family," Jacobs said.

"The bottom line is Tony Barbee is a winner," Jacobs said. "We could not be happier to have him as the new face of Auburn Basketball as we prepare to open a new era in a new arena next season."

Barbee, who is 38 years old, has been head coach at UTEP since the 2006-2007 season. He led the Miners to a 26-7 record this past season which ended with a loss to Butler in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

"I'm very excited about the opportunity to join the Auburn Family and proud to be the next head coach at Auburn," Barbee said. "We have challenges in front of us, but we also have great opportunities with everything Auburn has to offer--a great university, outstanding community, tremendous fan support and a terrific new arena and practice facility.

"The time is now to take Auburn basketball to new heights," the coach added.

His first team at UTEP won 14 games, his second team won 19, his third won 23 and this season the Miners finished with 26 victories.

Barbee was also considered a candidate for the vacant job at DePaul and was expected to interview for that post this week prior to accepting an offer from Auburn.

Tony Barbee is shown coaching at game for UTEP.

Dave Telep, director of basketball scouting for Scout.com, said that Auburn is making a strong hire. "Above all, Tony is a very astute evaluator of talent. He does an excellent job with recruiting. I think he is an excellent hire for Auburn.

"Tony has been well-groomed for becoming an SEC head coach," Telep added. "In fact, I think he is more than ready to be a successful coach in the SEC."

This season Barbee's team averaged 75.3 points per game while giving up 64.6 points per contest. The Miners shot 47.4 percent from the field while holding opponents to 39.2 percent shooting.

The Miners hit 34.3 percent of their treys while opponents made 31.3 percent. UTEP's rebound margin was plus 0.7 per game. His teams averaged 14.8 assists per game to 11.5 for opponents.

Barbee is considered a strong recruiter and came to UTEP as an assistant to John Calipari at Memphis after playing for Calipari in college at UMass.

Barbee was on the staff at Memphis for six seasons beginning in 2000, all 20-win years for the Tigers.

A player at UMass where he was an All-Atlantic 10 Freshman Team member and a two-time second team all-conference selection, that is where he began his coaching career from 1996-98 under Calipari helping two teams that earned NCAA Tournament bids. Prior to that he had trained as a graduate assistant at UMass for one season on a team that posted a 35-2 record and reached the NCAA Final Four.

His next stop was at Wyoming in 1998-99 where he coached on an NIT team before returning to UMass the following season.

He returned to UMass in in 1999-2000 and coached a team that played in the NIT.

After playing at UMass, where he helped his team go to the NCAA Sweet 16 and the NIT Final Four, he played pro basketball in Spain and France.

Barbee is a 1993 graduate of UMass with a bachelor of arts degree in sports management with a minor in African American studies. He and his wife Holly have a daughter (9) named Hayden and a son named Andrew (5).

Coaching Experience

1995-96: UMass, Graduate Assistant

1996-98: UMass, Assistant

1998-99: Wyoming, Assistant

1999-00: UMass, Assistant

2000-06: Memphis, Assistant

2006-10: UTEP, Head Coach

Head Coaching Record

2006-07: 14-17 6-10 C-USA/10th

2007-08: 19-14 8-8 C-USA/t-6th

2008-09: 23-14 10-6 C-USA/t-4th

2009-10: 26-7 15-1 C-USA/1st

Overall: 82-52 39-25

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