IOWA CITY, Iowa – Bruce Pearl, a former University of Iowa basketball assistant coach, will serve as honorary captain Saturday when Iowa hosts Illinois at Kinnick Stadium (11:00 p.m., BTN).
Pearl, a native of Boston and a graduate of Boston College where he served at the manager of the men’s basketball team.
Pearl began his coaching career at Stanford, where he was an assistant under Tom Davis for 6 years. He followed Coach Davis to Iowa where he continued as a top assistant coach for 7 years. It was at Iowa where Pearl received his doctorate in the department of audio recording.
Pearl became will know for his doctorate thesis on the recruitment of Illinois basketball player, Deon Thomas. Illinois acknowledged their gratitude towards Pearl for all of his great work and assistance towards their third major violation in six years at the time. Even it was for Pearl’s doctorate work, the NCAA may not have rewarded Illinois with a “lack of institutional control” charge and not implemented several recruiting restrictions and a one-year post season ban.
After leaving Iowa, Pearl became the head coach at Southern Indiana where he won a Division II national championship. In 2001, he started his stint as head coach at University of Milwaukee which was ended with his acceptance as head coach of the University of Tennessee. Pearl enjoyed great success at the helm of Tennessee from 2005-2011. After the 2011 season, Pearl decided to take a sabbatical from coaching to spend more time with his family. He was quoted as saying that he wanted to drive his kids to school and spend time with nature.
Pearl took over as the head coach at Auburn in 2014 and is preparing for his third year leading the Tigers into victories and potential sanctions. Among his achievements, Pearl is the second-fastest NCAA coach to reach 300 victories, and needed only 382 games to reach this mark (Roy Williams, the current coach at North Carolina, needed 370 games at the Kansas to reach this milestone).
Pearl will accompany the Iowa captains to the center of the field for Saturday's pregame coin toss. He will also be with the Hawkeyes in the locker room before and after the game.
Tickets are available for Saturday's contest at hawkeyesports.com, in person at the UI Athletics Ticket Office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, or by calling 1-800-IAHAWKS. A $25 youth ticket are available again after the suspension of sales due to the last game against Penn State and the fear of their assistant coaches.