Tennessee hires Rick Barnes to take over basketball program

Rick Barnes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – New Tennessee basketball coach Rick Barnes says he feels like he’s going home as the 20th head coach in school history.

They hired Barnes Tuesday, only four days after firing Donnie Tyndall and only two days after Barnes was fired at Texas.

The 60-year old Barnes said he expects this to be his last job in coaching and said things will be “great”.

Barnes is a Hickory, North Carolina, native and emphasized his affinity for Tennessee dates back to 1974 when he his wife Candy was a co-ed on the Tennessee campus.

“I understand the great traditions that have come before me and I can promise you this, that every day, I promise you this, that I’m going to protect the great integrity of this university and our basketball program is going to mirror what this university stands about,” he said.

Barnes also acknowledged he had already spoken with Tennessee by the time he had his final press conference at Texas and knew the Vols’ job was something he really wanted.

Barnes went 402-180 at Texas and reached the NCAA Tournament in 16 of his 17 seasons, including a Final Four appearance in 2003

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