Auburn Hires Tony Barbee
POSTED: Thursday, March 25, 2010 - 8:44am
UPDATED: Thursday, March 25, 2010 - 11:30am
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.