Auburn Students React To Bruce Pearl Hiring
It's the start of a new era for men's basketball at Auburn. Former Tennessee Vol coach, Bruce Pearl has been hired as the university's new coach. This comes after Tony Barbee was fired hours after the team lost an SEC tournament game.
Auburn athletic officials say hiring Bruce Pearl raises the bar for their basketball program. Alabama News Network crews were at the airport when Bruce Pearl arrived and a very wild, excited crowd was out there to greet him.
The plane has arrived -- and so has Auburn's new basketball coach, Bruce Pearl. More than 100 students and fans greeted Pearl at Auburn University Regional Airport. The excitement was just as apparent for Pearl.
"War Eagle!" Said Pearl to an excited crowd. "My family and I are so happy to be here. We are so blessed to have the opportunity to be your coach. And we're going to work really hard every day to reward you."
Student Nate Palmer says more wins won't be the only reward. He believes bringing in Pearl will fill up empty seats at the Auburn Arena.
"I think the exceitement level is awesome. [His] wardrobe at Tennesse was awesome with the orange suits, I think it's going to fill up for sure. and it's only going to get more full and more full. I just hope we can keep winning ball games," Said Palmer.
Auburn basketball hasn't seen an NCAA tournament in more than a decade. Pearl was fired in 2011 after six seasons at Tennessee because of multiple NCAA violations that led to a show cause penalty for lying, effective unitl this August. But some students aren't letting the allegations faze them.
"Hopefully he's learned his lesson. I've heard those allegations, too. But I'm just really excited to see what he can do with our program. Hopefully, we can get a lot better," Said student, Thomas Bush.
Pearl will be introduced to students at the Auburn arena tonight at 7 p.m.
Pearl comes with a great resume -- he's taking Tennessee to the sweet 16 four times and once to the Elite 8.