AuburnEagle.com Scott Reaves did an outstanding reporting job. In a post on his website, he gives Auburn fans an excellent background on our new basketball coach Tony Barbee. It goes as follows...
Tony Barbee, who has served as head coach at UTEP the past four seasons and was the 2010 Conference USA Coach of the Year, has been named the head basketball coach at Auburn University, Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs announced Wednesday.
In Barbee's four years, he led the UTEP program to three consecutive winning records, including a 26-7 mark during the 2009-10 season. The Miners won the Conference USA regular season title and made the NCAA Tournament this season.
Prior to his stint at UTEP, Barbee spent six highly successful seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Memphis, where he was considered one of the nation's top recruiters.
"We are thrilled to welcome Tony Barbee into the Auburn Family," Jacobs said. "Coach Barbee has a vision of competing for championships at Auburn, and the passion to get us there. He is a phenomenal coach, an outstanding recruiter and a fierce competitor.
"Coach Barbee also shares Auburn values and is the right man to lead our team and represent Auburn University and the Auburn Family," Jacobs said. "The bottom line is Tony Barbee is a winner. We could not be happier to have him as the new face of Auburn Basketball as we prepare to open a new era in a new arena next season."
Barbee, 38, will be formally introduced as Auburn's 20th head coach on Thursday.
"I'm very excited about the opportunity to join the Auburn Family and proud to be the next head coach at Auburn," Barbee said. "We have challenges in front of us, but we also have great opportunities with everything Auburn has to offer-a great university, outstanding community, tremendous fan support, and a terrific new arena and practice facility. The time is now to take Auburn basketball to new heights."
In just his second season at UTEP, Barbee directed the program to a 19-14 mark, followed by a 23-14 record in 2008-09 while making a postseason appearance.
While at Memphis from 2000-06, the Tigers won 148 games, an average of nearly 25 victories per season. Memphis also made six consecutive postseason tournament appearances, including three trips to the NCAA Tournament (2003, '04, '06) and three appearances in the NIT (2001, '02, `05). They enjoyed six straight 20-win seasons and earned final Associated Press top-25 rankings on three occasions - fourth in 2006, 19th in 2003, and 24th in 2004.
The Tigers had a banner 2005-06 campaign, posting a 33-4 record while reaching the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. Memphis captured Conference USA regular season and tournament crowns.
Memphis claimed a share of the 2004 Conference USA regular season crown and finished first in the league's National Division in 2002 and 2003.
A native of Indianapolis, Ind., Barbee played for and coached under Kentucky head coach John Calipari. He played for Calipari at Massachusetts before reuniting with him as an assistant coach at Memphis.
He was named the top assistant in Conference USA in Street & Smith's 2005-06 preseason college basketball yearbook. He was also honored by Rivals.com as the No. 3 recruiter in the country while at Memphis. HoopScoop magazine tabbed him as one of the nation's top assistant coaches in 2004.
Memphis produced top-10 recruiting classes in each of Barbee's last six years on staff, including a 2001 group that was rated number one in the country.
Four players coached by Barbee are currently in the NBA-Rodney Carney (Philadelphia 76ers), Joey Dorsey (Sacramento Kings), Chris Douglas-Roberts (New Jersey Nets), and Marcus Camby (Portland Trail Blazers).
Barbee began his coaching career as an assistant at UMass from 1996-98, where he was involved with two NCAA Tournament teams. He joined the Wyoming coaching staff for the 1998-99 season, where the Cowboys finished 18-10 and advanced to the second round of the NIT.
He returned to UMass as an assistant for the 1999-00 campaign. UMass reached the postseason NIT that year.
Barbee worked as a graduate assistant at UMass during the 1995-96 season. The Minutemen finished with a 35-2 mark, advancing to the NCAA Final Four under Calipari.
As a player at Massachusetts, Barbee was instrumental in the Minutemen posting a 91-39 record and earning four straight postseason tournament bids. UMass won back-to-back Atlantic 10 Conference regular season and tournament titles in 1992 and 1993. Barbee still ranks among the school's all-time leaders in numerous statistical categories, including scoring (1,643 points). He was a second-team All-Atlantic 10 player in 1991 and 1993, and All-Atlantic 10 Freshman team member in 1990.
He helped UMass reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 1992, and the Final Four of the NIT in 1991.
Barbee played professionally in Spain and France after his playing career at UMass.
Barbee earned his B.A. in sports management from UMass in 1993, with a minor in African-American studies. He and his wife, Holly, have a daughter, Hayden Alexandra, and son, Andrew Marsh.
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