Auburn fans got some more good basketball news after the flurry of returnees last week. Maybe the biggest recruiting get came in the form of an extended contract for head coach Bruce Pearl.
Pearl led Auburn to a regular season SEC Championship this year, along with the first NCAA Tournament berth in fifteen years. The Tigers are poised for a huge 2018-19 season thanks to the return of Austin Wiley, Danjel Purifoy, Bryce Brown, and Jared Harper.
There was doubt all along about Pearl’s permanence on the Plains, especially after the ongoing probe into the basketball program with the FBI. However, new athletic director Allen Greene got the deal done and extended Pearl’s contract with Auburn so that the head coach should be in town for the next five seasons.
Pearl was nearing the end of his initial deal with Auburn, which was a six-year, $14.7 million agreement. Now, he’s locked in after the most successful season on the hardwood in nearly two decades. The agreement also helps to erase the doubt that he wouldn’t be the coach at Auburn much longer, and presents a united front from the school and athletic department in the face of any outside investigation.
Either way, it’s a weight off the shoulders of Auburn fans, and particularly of Greene, who’s finished up maybe the biggest task of his early tenure. By locking in Pearl, he’s had a successful honeymoon period, hiring a new swimming coach, and finalizing upgrades for both baseball and softball facilities. Most importantly though, we’re happy to not have that worry about whether we’d still have our championship-winning coach patrolling the sidelines come November. War Eagle!