Former Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl, who is effectively banned from college coaching for the next three years, accepted a position Tuesday as vice president of marketing for a wholesale grocery company.
The Knoxville, Tenn.-based company, H.T. Hackney Co., announced the hiring Tuesday, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.
"I’ve known Bruce Pearl for years — his leadership, competitiveness and understanding of marketing is a great fit for our organization," said CEO Bill Sansom, who used to be on UT’s board of trustees.
Pearl, 51, was fired in March for lying to NCAA investigators and last week the NCAA levied a three-year show cause penalty against him. The punishment essentially prevents other schools from hiring Pearl for three years.
Pearl said in a statement he is grateful for the chance to take his career in a new direction.
"I worked for 33 years — my entire coaching career — to get to a place like Knoxville," Peal said. "This is where my family lives, this is home. We have made life-long friends here and we are very blessed to have this opportunity."
Pearl was believed to be considering accepting the head coaching position with the Texas Legends of the NBA Developmental League.
He had a successful run coaching the Volunteers for the previous six seasons, going to the NCAA Tournament every year and reaching the Elite Eight in 2010.
He was fired after it was determined he had improper contact with recruits at a barbecue at his home in 2008. The NCAA also found he had provided false information to investigators who were looking into the matter.
In the wake of the investigation, Tennessee self-imposed a two-year probationary period.