UT intends fast hire in 'great job'

UT intends fast hire in 'great job'

March 23rd, 2011 by Patrick Brown in Sports - College

Bruce Pearl and forward Tyler Smith embrace after Tennessee's first round win over American at the 2008 NCAA East Regional tournament. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Bruce Pearl and forward Tyler Smith embrace after...

KNOXVILLE - Between two new football coaches and a baseball hire, coaching searches have been pretty common for the University of Tennessee men's athletic program since 2008.

But with Bruce Pearl and his staff fired Monday, the basketball Volunteers are on the coaching market for the first time since 2005.

"Our search process will begin immediately," UT athletic director Mike Hamilton said in a statement released Monday night. "This is a great job and will attract a significant number of interested coaches.

"Much of that interest is a tribute to what Coach Pearl has helped to build, but more importantly, what our fans have built. We will take an appropriate amount of time but will move as swiftly as is effective to bring this to conclusion."

If the basketball program's most recent process of hiring a new coach is any indication, UT will move quickly to land its new leader. Pearl was hired exactly two weeks after predecessor Buzz Peterson was fired.

UT had to wait for Wisconsin-Milwaukee to lose in the Sweet 16 of the 2005 NCAA tournament before beginning the interview process then. Hamilton consulted with the search firm Champ Search, and it's likely UT again will go that route. And again, some potential candidates have teams still playing.

UT is not the only attractive job open this year, as Arkansas, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State and Oklahoma currently have vacancies.