Barnes staying at Tennessee

Barnes staying at Tennessee

Tennessee Volunteers head coach Rick Barnes reacts to play in the first half against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Nationwide Arena.

Athletic Director Phillip Fulmer released a statement shortly after the news broke saying, "The last few days have been interesting to say the least".

Tennessee's growth under Barnes and star players Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield resulted in Barnes winning the Naismith Coach of the Year on Sunday. One of the nation's most tradition-rich college basketball programs identified what we here at Tennessee already knew-that Rick Barnes is one the game's elite coaches and a program-changer. One of the things Barnes has always put a premium on is his assistants and staff being taken care of financially and providing as much security for them as possible, which was paramount in his talks with UCLA and ultimately his decision to stay at Tennessee. Plus, the pressure of being the UCLA basketball coach where the average span is shorter than most students and it's easy to see why Barnes would elect to take the raise at Tennessee than leave for the once-proud program.

Tennessee coach Rick Barnes has emerged as a "serious candidate" in UCLA's coaching search, Evan Daniels of 247 Sports reports. "I'm thrilled that he will remain a part of our Tennessee Athletics family".

More news: How much snow can you expect?

Barnes and Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger have interviewed for the job, with the former considered the front-runner, according to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times.

Barnes is UCLA's No. 1 priority.

He led the Volunteers to a 31-6 record this season, including a trip to the Sweet 16.

Barnes was paid $3.25 million this season, according to USA Today's salary database, after agreeing to a contract extension that included $100,000 annual raises. Barnes coached for four seasons at Clemson before his long run with the Longhorns.

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