Rick Barnes will accept an offer from Tennessee to be their next head coach, according to multiple reports.
Barnes, 60, had spent the past 17 seasons as the head coach at Texas, reaching 16 NCAA tournaments during that time. On Friday, we reported that one potential landing spot for Barnes would be Tennessee, and, according to a source, the job was “absolutely” his if he wanted it. Turns out he did.
A press conference is expected on Tuesday afternoon to make it official.
Barnes is replacing Donnie Tyndall at Tennessee. Tyndall was fired after going 16-16 last season, his only season with the Vols, due to NCAA violations he allegedly committed while at Southern Miss. Tyndall replaced Cuonzo Martin, who was more or less run out of Knoxville for not being Bruce Pearl, making Barnes their third coach in three years and the fourth since 2011.
Barnes was the 2014 Big 12 Coach of the Year. He’ll be able to get talent into the Tennessee program and, unlike Pearl and Tyndall, he’ll do it without getting caught up in NCAA violations. He’s got a whole to dig the Vols out of right now, but don’t be surprised to see him turn Tennessee into a consistent presence in the NCAA tournament and a team that annually competes for a top four spot in the SEC.