"Rick Barnes is an elite basketball coach in every respect," Tennessee Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Dave Hart said. "Rick brings an extremely impressive track record of excellence, as well as much-needed stability, to our men's basketball program. This is an exciting day for our Tennessee family."
Ever since news began to surface that Barnes could be on the way out in Austin, he's been connected with the job in Knoxville, in part because his wife, Candy, is a Tennessee alum.
There's been plenty of turnover recently for the Volunteers basketball program, which fired former head coach Donnie Tyndall after one season because of NCAA violations he allegedly committed while the head coach at Southern Miss. He was the third head coach at Tennessee since 2011, when Bruce Pearl was fired for his own NCAA violations.
So Barnes would provide some stability to a basketball program that desperately needs it. In trading in burnt orange for the brighter Tennessee shade, Barnes would also be heading to a program that profiles similarly to the places at which he had previous success, including Clemson and Providence in addition to Texas.
Seemingly most comfortable when rebuilding and instilling toughness at lower-profile schools in major basketball conferences, Barnes would seem like a strong fit for Tennessee despite his recent underachievement at Texas.