ESPN's Jeff Goodman is reporting that University of Tennessee is close to striking a deal with former Texas Longhorns basketball coach Rick Barnes.
Barnes was fired this week after 17 mostly successful seasons at Texas. Barnes was heavily criticized for underachieving with the type of talent he brought to Austin. Barnes regularly brought in five-star talent and coached NBA players like LaMarcus Aldridge, Tristan Thompson, Avery Bradley, D.J. Augustin and 2014 MVP Kevin Durant.
Barnes made one Final Four in 2003, but hadn't made a Sweet 16 since 2008. Since then, the Longhorns are just 3-6 in the NCAA tournament.
The Volunteers are on the hunt for a head coach after firing Donnie Tyndall at the conclusion of the season. Tyndall was slammed with NCAA violations stemming back from his time at Southern Miss. A new coach would mean the third coach for Tennessee in three years, and a fourth since 2011.
The Vols finished 16-16 and did not make a postseason tournament in their only season under Tyndall. Barnes and the Longhorns were knocked out of the First Four of the NCAA tournament this season by Butler.
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