Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Auburn Gets Its Coach!

On Wednesday, Auburn got its coach. Tony Barbee was pin-pointed early on by athletic director Jay Jacobs as a top contender for the head basketball coaching job and a coach Auburn would be lucky to get. Barbee interviewed with Jay Jacobs Tuesday and Wednesday and came away with the job.

As Auburn fans know, AU just spent $90 million plus on a brand new, state of the art arena, fitted with everything imaginable to attract the fan as well as the recruit. To say that Jay Jacobs and other Auburn officials are going to make basketball at Auburn an emphasis would be an understatement. The investments Auburn is making says they want to win championships. In the coaching search, Auburn had to go out and get a coach that could take the Tiger basketball team to the heights Auburn envisions; A coach that can recruit, has experience as a head coach and will bring new life to the program. Tony Barbee has a great chance to be that coach. He fits the description to a tee.

Barbee is 38 years old. He's been the head coach at UTEP for the last three seasons and has done an excellent job there. Under his guidence the UTEP Miners have acquired 14, 19 and 23 wins over the last three seasons respectivly. This year his UTEP team went 26-7, which included an NCAA tournament birth. His UTEP Miners teams got better every year he was there. Barbee coaches an up-tempo style on offense and defense and focuses on an unselfish style of play, moving the ball around alot on the offensive end.

Before Barbee came to UTEP, he was an assistant coach for John Calipari's highly successfull teams at Memphis for six years and played for Calipari at UMASS as well. Not only is Barbee considered one of college basketballs top up and coming young coaches, but he is also known as one of the better recruiters in the country as well. Barbee was recognized as the number 3 overall recruiter in the country while at Memphis by Rivals.com.

Overall, Barbee is just a winner. He's been a winner everywhere he's been. He went to 15 consecutive postseason tournaments as a player and coach from 1992-06. He was with Calipari for 148 wins in six years at Memphis, including an Elite 8 appearance. He took UTEP from the bottom to a 26-7 final season and an NCAA tourny birth. Auburn got the coach they wanted and the coach they needed as well. War Eagle!

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