AUBURN, Ala. — Bruce Pearl didn’t have to look far for his newest staff member.
Steven Pearl, son of the Auburn coach and Tigers director of basketball operations the past two seasons, was promoted to assistant coach on Thursday. He replaces Chad Dollar, who is headed to his alma mater, South Florida.
As director of basketball operations, Pearl was involved in planning practices, travel and Auburn basketball camps.
The promotion comes after Auburn’s 18-win season in 2016-17, which was the highest total since 2008-2009.
Pearl played for his father at Tennessee from 2007-11, seeing time in 101 games for the Vols. During his time as a player Tennessee won the SEC Championship in 2008 and the SEC East title in 2008 and 2009.
“As a father, I have been blessed to have Steven with me as a student-athlete and an assistant for eight years at Tennessee and Auburn,” Bruce Pearl said in a statement. “As a coach, I have been fortunate to have his intensity, passion, knowledge and love of the game.
“Getting Steven on the court now as an assistant coach will allow him to be able to work with the players and assist them as much as he has been able to assist me. He knows our system. He has seen it succeed at the highest level, and I know he is excited about this next challenge.”
The Volunteers reached the NCAA Tournament each season Steven was a member of the team. The Vols advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2007 and 2008 before making the Elite Eight in during his junior season. He obtained a marketing and international business degree from Tennessee in 2010.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be named an assistant coach at Auburn University,” Steven said in a statement. “Being a part of Auburn Basketball over the last three years, I have seen the improvement and progress first hand. I know that with the combination of the team we have coming back, the first class facilities, the incredible fans and the support of Jay Jacobs, the athletics department and Auburn University, we have the ability to keep improving this program and get it back to a place it hasn’t been in a long time.”