New deal for Pearl

University of Tennessee interim president Jan Simek and athletic director Mike Hamilton announced Thursday that they have reached an agreement in principle with head basketball coach Bruce Pearl on a renegotiated six-year contract.

Details of that contract will be released in the coming days.

"Mike has been terrifically supportive and committed to making this one of the best jobs in all of college basketball," Pearl said. "I want to ensure the University of Tennessee and its fans that I'm 100 percent committed to this school, this program and our student-athletes.

"I truly love my job, and I want it to be clear that I'm not interested in any other job. There's no place in the country I'd rather be than the University of Tennessee. My children are happy here in the Knoxville community—one is in high school, one is in middle school and two are currently attending the university.

"My staff and I are building a consistent top-25 program and I'm honored and privileged to serve the greatest fans in the country. Tennessee has all the resources necessary to win championships, from our recently upgraded facilities to our ability to schedule.

"It's great to be a Tennessee Vol!"

Hamilton added, "The job that Bruce Pearl has done as basketball coach at the University of Tennessee is nothing short of phenomenal. Bruce gets it. The way he mentors and coaches our student-athletes, promotes the program and represents our institution—coupled with the success he and the team have had on the court—has set a new standard for Tennessee basketball.

"We are committed to helping him and his staff to achieve even greater heights in the years ahead."

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