Tennessee Reportedly Responds To UCLA’s Interest In Rick Barnes

11 April, 2019, 07:02 | Author: Ginger Lawrence
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Barnes finalized his decision to stay as the Vols' coach on Monday night after Tennessee countered with a new deal that was in the neighborhood of what UCLA was offering.

Barnes has been a head coach at George Mason (1987-88), Providence (1988-89-1993-94), Clemson (1994-95-1997-98), Texas (1998-99-2014-15) and Tennessee (2015-16-2018-19), compiling a 692-364 overall record and 24-24 in the NCAA Tournament. Bolch added that Barnes "would definitely accept" the UCLA job if formally offered the gig.

"I have not interviewed for the job at UCLA, nor have I had any contact with anyone from UCLA", Kruger said.

"The last few days have been interesting to say the least".

The statement came after reports that linked Barnes to the coaching vacancy at UCLA.

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"His incredible work here at Tennessee over the past four years illustrates that". "I'm thrilled that he will remain a part of our Tennessee Athletics family".

Why would Barnes want to leave a program that was No. 1 in the country for several weeks this year and a program he's got on the right track for a program that hasn't had much in the way of success of late?

Last season, Barnes made $3.25 million after negotiating a contract extension.

Barnes has instead chosen to continue building on Tennessee's rise to success over the four years he has been coaching in Knoxville. A source told ESPN that he loves living in East Tennessee and loves the people in Tennessee, but also is intrigued by the chance to restore UCLA to its past glory and finish his career at such a tradition-rich basketball school. Barnes was also named Naismith Coach of the Year on Sunday.

The school reportedly pursued TCU's Jamie Dixon until it decided it wasn't inclined to pay his $8 million buyout, and while it wasn't clear how vigorously UCLA has been courting Cincinnati's Mick Cronin, Athletic Director Dan Guerrero has taken flak for seeming to bounce from one candidate to another.

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