Reports: Tennessee expected to hire former Texas coach Rick Barnes

Reports: Tennessee expected to hire former Texas coach Rick Barnes

March 30th, 2015 by Patrick Brown in Sports - College

FILE - In this Feb. 2015, file photo, Texas head coach Rick Barnes calls to his players during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa State in Austin, Texas. Barnes, who shaped Texas into a national basketball power with three Big 12 championships and 16 NCAA Tournament appearances in 17 years, will be released after yet another quick exit from the postseason, people with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Saturday. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)


Photo by The Associated Press/Times Free Press.

KNOXVILLE -- Multiple national media outlets reported Monday afternoon that Tennessee is expected to hire former Texas coach Rick Barnes as its new basketball coach.

Both Jerry Meyer of 247sports and Chip Brown of HornsDigest, the affiliate covering the Longhorns, first reported that Barnes, formally ousted by Texas on Saturday, and the Volunteers were nearing a deal.

"It's gonna happen sooner than later," an anonymous source told 247sports. "I wouldn't be surprised if there is an agreement in principle by the end of tonight."

ESPN later reported the Vols had offered the job to Barnes, and CBS Sports suggested the two sides are in the process of "finalizing a deal."

There's been no official announcement or comment from Tennessee.

The Times Free Press is working to learn more regarding Tennessee's ongoing search to replace Donnie Tyndall, who was fired on Friday amid an NCAA investigation into his former program at Southern Mississippi.

In 17 seasons at Texas, Barnes took the Longhorns to 16 NCAA tournaments, the 2003 Final Four, two Elite Eights (2008 and 2006) and two Sweet 16s (2004 and 2002). Texas won three Big 12 titles under Barnes, who turns 61 years old in July. He was named the league's coach of the year four times.

The Longhorns went 80-57 the past four seasons under Barnes after going 28-8 in 2010-11, and his Texas exit happened when he elected not to make changes to his staff per a request of his athletic director.

Before taking over at Texas, Barnes took Clemson to three NCAA tournament appearances in four seasons and led Providence to three NCAA appearances in six seasons.

Texas gave Barnes a two-year extension last offseason. His salary this season with the Longhorns was $2.55 million. Texas owes him a $1.75 million buyout.

His career record is 604-314.

During a news conference after his parting of ways with Texas was announced, Barnes, who's from Hickory, N.C., and whose wife is a Tennessee alumnus, was asked if he'd coach again.

"Yeah, quicker than you probably think," he replied.

Whoever Tennessee hires will be the program's third coach in as many years. Cuonzo Martin left after last season for California following a three-year tenure with the Vols. Tyndall, his replacement, lasted one year amid his second run-in with NCAA trouble.

The Vols were 16-16 and finished 10th in the SEC this season.

More on this story as it develops online and in Tuesday's Times Free Press.