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Monday, August 14, 2006

Tiger Assistant Coach Tony Barbee Expected to be Named Head Coach at Texas El-Paso


Barbee to coach at Texas-El Paso

By Jim Masilak, Memphis Commercial Appeal
August 13, 2006

University of Memphis assistant Tony Barbee will be introduced within the next 48 hours as the new head coach at Texas-El Paso, a source close to the situation told The Commercial Appeal today. Barbee, an Indianapolis native, will succeed Doc Sadler*, who left UTEP after two seasons to become the head coach at Nebraska.

This will be the first head-coaching job for the 35-year-old Barbee, who spent the past six years on John Calipari’s staff at the U of M and earned a reputation as a top recruiter. Barbee, who met with UTEP athletic director Bob Stull in Dallas on Saturday morning, was one of several candidates reported to have been considered for the job, considered one of the best in Conference USA.

Among them were UTEP assistants Tony Benford and Randall Dickey, Sam Houston State coach Bob Marlin, Texas A&M assistant Alvin Brooks, Kansas assistant Tim Jankovich, Texas assistant Rodney Terry and LSU assistant Butch Pierre.

Former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson, a UTEP alum who has not coached since 2002, was expected to meet with Stull today .

Barbee, who played for Calipari at UMass from 1989-93 before becoming his assistant at the U of M, will now get to match wits against his mentor when the Miners meet the Tigers in C-USA play.

"He helped me build UMass as a player, and he’s helped me build Memphis as a coach," Calipari said.

Barbee served as an assistant at UMass and Wyoming before coming to the UofM before the 2000-01 season.

Long considered a future Division 1 head coach, he interviewed for the Murray State job in April and was mentioned in connection with an opening at Ball State.

Attempts to reach both Barbee and Stull for comment Sunday were unsuccessful.

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