Head Coach Bruce Pearl
In four years as head coach at Auburn, Bruce Pearl has led the Tigers to 70 wins, a Southeastern Conference Championship and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament with both coming this past season.
In his 23 seasons, he has guided his teams to the NCAA Tournament 18 times and ranks second among active SEC coaches in winning percentage as an NCAA head coach at .720.
Pearl is one of just seven active head coaches who has led his teams to at least 10 NCAA Sweet 16 appearances, with one coming soon at Auburn.
Pearl is only the 11th coach in SEC history to win four conference titles in a 10-year span, joining the likes of Adolph Rupp (Kentucky), Billy Donovan (Florida), Nolan Richardson (Arkansas) and Rick Pitino (Kentucky) among others.
In 2017-18, the Tigers set program records for 3-pointers made (324), free throws made (647) and blocks (180) en route to their third conference crown in program history.
Pearl tutored three All-SEC players and two 1,000-point scorers from a season ago.
In the past two seasons, Auburn has the best non-conference record in the SEC during the regular season at 23-3 (.885), while scheduling perennial NCAA Tournament teams in Dayton, Middle Tennessee, Murray State, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and UConn.
Because of Pearl’s ability to raise Auburn’s national profile, the Tigers were invited to take part in the 2018 Maui Invitational, the most prestigious non-conference tournament in the country.
His teams have been just as successful off the court as Auburn has had 18 graduates in four years – the most in the SEC. In 2018, Auburn received an Academic Progress Rate Public Recognition Award marking the first time the Tigers have been honored since the award began tracking data in 2004. The NCAA annually honors teams earning multiyear Academic Progress Rates in the top 10 percent of all squads in each sport.
Auburn recently secured its third perfect APR score of 1,000 in mid-May, something that has never been accomplished in program history.
In the past four years, Auburn men’s basketball has averaged an APR of 995 (out of 1,000). In the previous four seasons before Pearl and his staff arrived, Auburn’s APR average score was 940.
The 2017-2018 squad that captured the first SEC title since 1999 and third all-time featured nine student-athletes with a cumulative GPA over 3.0.
Shifting the focus back on to the court, Auburn has defeated Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Arkansas in the same season twice – something that had not been accomplished in over 48 years in program history.
Auburn sold out of season tickets for the fourth straight time in 2017-18, all under Pearl, to continue the school record streak. Prior to Pearl, the only other time the Tigers sold out of season tickets came in the 1999-2000 season.
Known for his outstanding offensive mind, Pearl’s teams have topped the 100-point mark 18 times in his career and have led the league in scoring in 17 of 23 seasons.
Pearl became the 21st fastest coach to 500 wins in his 691st game in Auburn's 78-74 win over LSU on Jan. 19, 2017. He reached the historic mark between a pair of Hall of Famers, just behind Lute Olson and ahead of Nolan Richardson.
Auburn and Pearl had as high as the No. 2 ranked recruiting class in 2017 before 17-year-old Austin Wiley enrolled in Auburn in December, No. 25 in 2016, No. 15 in 2015 and No. 32 in 2014.
Pearl's impact is also continually felt in the community. When he isn't out buying lunch for students on campus or dropping into Auburn marketing classes, he can be found spreading the word of Auburn basketball at Auburn Alumni events throughout the Southeast. And if he isn't there, there is a good chance he is in the stands supporting one of the other Auburn programs.
Pearl and his wife, Brandy, also remain committed to giving back to those in Alabama as they have raised over $1 million in only five golf tournaments at Auburn for Children’s Harbor in Birmingham, benefitting children with serious illnesses and their families.
Pearl started AUTLIVE at Auburn in 2015-16 to benefit cancer patients in the fight to beat cancer. AUTLIVE raises the awareness of cancer prevention and detection white t-shirt sales in 2016, orange t-shirt sales in 2017 and blue t-shirt sales in 2018 along with donations raise money to benefit cancer patients.
An ambassador for the university, Pearl's selfless community service work and generous stewardship made him one of the most influential public figures in the states of Alabama and Tennessee.
He was given the "Spirit of Auburn" Award in the spring of 2015 and was named "Knoxvillian of the Year" by Knoxville Metro Pulse in 2008 and also received the prestigious "Knoxville Award" in 2010. The UT basketball program also earned the UT Men's Community Outreach Team Award twice in his six seasons.
Pearl realized a lifelong dream in the summer of 2008 when his country called upon him to serve as head coach of Maccabi USA's open men's basketball team at the 18th World Maccabiah Games in Israel. He led the American squad to the gold medal for just the third time in 24 years, toppling favored Israel in the title game.
The Maccabiah gold marked Pearl's 16th championship during his head coaching career. In 20 seasons at the collegiate level, his teams have made a remarkable 17 NCAA Tournament appearances and racked up 26 NCAA Tournament wins. Only five times in 21 years has a Pearl-coached team not led its conference in scoring, and his squads have finished either first or second in their respective leagues an astounding 15 times.
Pearl has garnered six National Coach of the Year awards, and his teams have set school records for wins at three different universities.
Pearl's 23 years of coaching experience covers four stops. He began his head coaching career with a nine-year stay at Southern Indiana, taking the program to the NCAA Tournament each season, going 231-46 (.834) from 1992-2001. From there he made the move to Wisconsin-Milwaukee, taking the Panthers to the NIT once and the NCAA Tournament twice, including a 2005 Sweet 16 appearance. After compiling an 86-38 (.694) record at UW-Milwaukee, Tennessee tabbed him as its leader in 2005 and he responded by taking the program to six straight NCAA Tournament appearances, two Sweet Sixteens (2007, 2008) and the 2010 Elite Eight, which was the most successful six-year run in Volunteers history.
Pearl's coaching career began at his alma mater, Boston College, as a student assistant coach to the legendary Dr. Tom Davis. After 14 seasons seated to the right of Davis, the 32-year-old Pearl embarked on his own head coaching career. But Pearl's first break came during his undergraduate career at BC when Davis offered him a position of student assistant in 1978. In 1981, the Eagles won the Big East Conference championship and reached the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament. The following season, BC advanced to the Elite Eight.
When Davis moved on to Stanford in 1982, Pearl joined his staff as an assistant coach and then, at the age of 23, was promoted to associate head coach for the Cardinal. While in Palo Alto, Calif., they ended a streak of 20 consecutive losing seasons with a 19-12 overall record in 1983-84, laying the groundwork for a resurgence in Stanford basketball. During that time, they recruited four players who were drafted by the NBA, including Todd Lichti, who finished his career as Stanford's all-time leading scorer with 2,336 career points.
After four seasons on the West Coast, Pearl followed Davis to Iowa in 1986. Over the course of the next six seasons, the Hawkeyes received five NCAA Tournament berths while compiling a 129-63 overall record. In 1987, the Hawkeyes recorded a 30-5 mark and advanced to the Elite Eight before falling to UNLV. And in 1988, Pearl was recognized as one of the top Division I assistants in the country by Basketball Weekly while helping direct the Hawkeyes to the Sweet Sixteen.
His six seasons in Iowa City helped produce 11 NBA draft picks for the Hawkeyes, including Brad Lohaus, Kevin Gamble, B.J. Armstrong, Roy Marble and Acie Earl.
Pearl's first head coaching opportunity came at Southern Indiana, a Division II school located in Evansville, Ind.
A native of Boston, Mass., Pearl received his bachelor's degree in business administration from Boston College in 1982, graduating cum laude. Pearl has two daughters, Jacqui and Leah, and two sons, Steven and Michael. He is married to the former Brandy Miller of Sevierville, Tenn.