Just after being hired as Tennessee’s men’s basketball coach, Bruce Pearl got introduced to who Pat Summitt was on a national stage.
Pearl, who is now the head coach Auburn, had recently been hired at Tennessee in March of 2005 and was attending the Lady Vols 2005 Elite Eight game against Rutgers in Philadelphia.
Pearl said during an interview with NBC Sports Radio, Summitt wanted Pearl on the floor to celebrate the Lady Vols making it to another Final Four.
“I was in the stands and they were cutting down nets,” Pearl said. “Pat was looking up in the stands… I’m thinking she’s looking for Hazel, her mom, or looking for somebody else. She was actually looking for me. I didn’t want to go down on the floor. I just got to Tennessee, I didn’t know her. She went up to the stands, she grabbed me by the arm and said ‘You get your butt down here. You are my men’s basketball coach and you are going to celebrate this championship with us.’