April 6, 2019 / 7:34 PM / 3 months ago

Tennessee Tech hires Pelphrey as coach

FILE PHOTO: University of South Alabama Jaguars head coach John Pelphrey (R) disagrees with an official on a call in his team's game against the University of Florida Gators in the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament in Jacksonville, Florida March 16, 2006. REUTERS/Mark Wallheiser/File Photo

Tennessee Tech announced Saturday that it has hired John Pelphrey as its basketball coach.

Pelphrey served on Alabama’s coaching staff for the past three seasons. He was a former head coach at South Alabama (2002-07) and Arkansas (2007-11).

“It’s an honor and privilege to be at Tennessee Tech,” Pelphrey said in a school news release. “My family and I, and our staff, were looking for a place where we could go and learn, lead and take on challenges in college basketball. We’re very appreciative of (athletic director) Mark Wilson and his pursuit of us. We have complete confidence and trust in him.

“We love the alignment between him and President (Phil) Oldham and their vision for basketball at Tennessee Tech moving into the future, and we are very, very excited to be a part of that. We understand that there’s a lot of work to do, but we’re going to embrace that.”

Pelphrey, 50, replaces Steve Payne, who compiled a 118-134 in eight seasons. The Golden Eagles were just 8-23 this past season.

Pelphrey went 80-67 at South Alabama and made the NCAA Tournament in 2006 as his club finished 24-7. He went 20-12 the following season before departing for Arkansas.

The Razorbacks went 23-12 and made the NCAA Tournament in his first season (2007-08). But the team had losing campaigns the following two seasons and he went 69-59 in four seasons before being fired in March 2011.

Pelphrey played college basketball at Kentucky and averaged 11.0 points in 114 games (89 starts) over four seasons (1988-92).

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