Pearl To Lead U.S. In Maccabiah Games

By Josh Herwitt - February 07, 2008


Since his early years at Division II power Southern Indiana, Bruce Pearl has always dreamed of coaching in the holiest of all places.

And now that dream has become a reality after the Tennessee head man was appointed Thursday to coach the Maccabi USA's Open team at the 18th World Maccabiah Games in Israel, July 12-23, 2009.

"The opportunity to coach in the Maccabiah Games is a dream come true," Pearl said in a release. "To represent the United States in international competition in a place that is the Jewish homeland is very special. I appreciate the total support that the University of Tennessee is giving me to help realize this dream."

You don't have to look far to see how impressive Pearl's resume has been since he came to Knoxville less than three yeas ago.

The 2006 National Coach of the Year, whose Volunteers are currently ranked No. 7 in this week's AP poll, has won 65 games while earning a 2006 SEC Eastern Division championship and a Sweet 16 appearance last season. And with a 382-105 record in his 16th year as a head coach, Pearl now sits as the second-fastest coach to reach 300 wins.

His teams, meanwhile, have led their conference in scoring in all but one season that Pearl has been a head coach at the collegiate level. Tennessee, for one, is on top of the SEC this season for the third consecutive year with an average of 80 points per game.

"We are pleased and delighted to have a coach of Bruce's caliber join us for the 18th Maccabiah," said Ron Carner, General Chair of the USA 18th Maccabiah Games Organizing Committee. "Bruce wears his Judaism on his sleeve and will be a tremendous draw in recruiting high quality athletes."

Posted by Josh Herwitt at 05:00 PM on February 07, 2008
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