While Bruce Pearl has helped two SEC programs turn become relevant in the South and nationally. As head coach at Tennessee from 2005-11, his final record was 145-61 in Knoxville, with his best year coming in 2007-08 season. During that stretch, the Volunteers went 31-5 and lost in the Sweet 16 of the tournament to the Louisville Cardinals.
Back in March of 2011, his tenure with the school came to a conclusion, as the higher-ups decided to part ways due to NCAA violations. As ESPN previously revealed, Tennessee fired Pearl, even though they had hoped to keep him through the off-court issues hanging over the program’s head.
Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton said in a statement released late Monday that school officials decided to dismiss Pearl, who has been charged by the NCAA with unethical conduct, after learning of additional violations committed on Sept. 14, 2010, and in March 2011.
Since taking over for Auburn in 2014, he has turned around the Tigers’ fortunes. He guided them to the NCAA Tournament last year, and got to the program’s first Sweet 16 since 2003. Auburn is currently playing North Carolina in the Midwest Regional in Kansas City.
Despite the violations, the on-court results speak for themself. What kind of money is he making at Auburn?
According to USA Today Sports, he earns $2.6 million a year with his current contract. It ranks No. 38 out of all coaches in the country, just behind Kansas State’s Bruce Weber and Providence’s Ed Cooley. The Wildcats bowed out last weekend in the Round of 64, while Providence missed the dance altogether.
Compared to his SEC peers, Pearl is right in the middle of earners. He trails Kentucky’s John Calipari ($9.7 million), Tennessee’s Rick Barnes ($3.25 million), Georgia’s Tom Crean ($3.2 million), Alabama’s Avery Johnson ($3.06 million), South Carolina’s Frank Martin ($2.95 million), Missouri’s Cuonzo Martin ($2.8 million) and White ($2.61 million).
Crean, Johnson and both Martins failed to make the tournament this season.
The highest-paid coach is Calipari, followed by Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski at over $7 million. Michigan State’s Tom Izzo is third at $4.157 million.