Barnes to remain at Tennessee

Barnes to remain 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. He was previously the head coach at Cincinnati for 13 seasons.

Other reports over the weekend appeared to tie Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger to the UCLA opening, going so far as to say Kruger also had already interviewed, but he issued a statement saying he has not had contact with the school. "I'm especially grateful to Chancellor Block and to Dan Guerrero for this opportunity to join the Bruin Family".

Barnes has been a head coach at George Mason (1987-88), Providence (1988-89-1993-94), Clemson (1994-95-1997-98), Texas (1998-99-2014-15) and Tennessee (2015-16-2018-19), compiling a 692-364 overall record and 24-24 in the NCAA Tournament.

Sources close to Barnes said it was a tough decision for him, especially given the opportunity to return UCLA to its past glory and finish his career at such a tradition-laden basketball school.

Meanwhile, Barnes will resume his efforts to make Tennessee a national championship contender.

Barnes is facing some major retooling with the Volunteers. Two-time Southeastern Conference player of the year Grant Williams also was believed to be leaning heavily toward going pro.

Barnes is coming off a 31-6 record at Tennessee in his fourth year there. He took Tennessee to a No. 1 ranking in the polls for a month this season. The program seemed to initially aim high with a reported $48 million offer to Kentucky coach John Calipari, but all that did was nab Calipari a lifetime contract with the Wildcats.

Last season, Barnes made $3.25 million after negotiating a contract extension.

ESPN reports there is interest from Barnes, who on Sunday was named the 2019 Naismith Coach of the Year, and from the school.

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