Bruce Pearl, Auburn Agree to Reported 8-Year Contract Extension amid Louisville Buzz

Erin WalshJanuary 29, 2022

AUBURN, AL - JANUARY 22: Head coach Bruce Pearl of the Auburn Tigers reacts during the second half against the Kentucky Wildcats at Auburn Arena on January 22, 2022 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Auburn director of athletics Allen Greene announced via his Twitter account on Friday a contract extension for men's basketball head coach Bruce Pearl that will keep him in Eastern Alabama "for a long, long time."

"War Eagle, Auburn Family," Greene said. "Tonight's a great night. I've got a big surprise for you. We locked him up."

Greene then turned the camera to Pearl, who said:

War Eagle, everybody. Listen, it wasn't that hard. I'm grateful to Allen, I'm grateful to the administration, Dr. Gogue, and Gen. Burgess and the folks who worked on this. My family and I are going to be able to stay and be your basketball coach for a long, long time.
I'm grateful, I'm humbled, I'm blessed to be your coach. War Eagle.
Allen Greene @AGreeneIV

🚨🚨🚨 BREAKING NEWS 🚨🚨🚨<a href="https://twitter.com/coachbrucepearl?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@coachbrucepearl</a> is🔒for life! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WarEagle?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WarEagle</a> <a href="https://t.co/vtfZ8yWFAF">pic.twitter.com/vtfZ8yWFAF</a>

According to Stadium's Jeff Goodman, the deal is for eight years. 

The news comes after Pearl led Auburn to its first No. 1 ranking in school history following a win over Kentucky last Saturday. It also comes after rumors that the 61-year-old was among the top candidates to replace Chris Mack at Louisville. 

During an appearance on ESPN's Kendrick, JWill and Max Thursday, Pearl did not shut down the Louisville rumors:

I was at a basketball school. I was at Tennessee. It was a women's basketball school, but it was a basketball school. Listen, when you win, folks are worried you're going to leave, and when you're losing, they're packing your bags. Look, Auburn is a fabulous place, and it's been the best place that I've ever been where I can develop players. It's a small college town. Kids coming here to grind. They're around other student-athletes that are trying to grind. We're about an hour and a half from Atlanta. There's a lot of good players.

Pearl has been head coach of the Tigers since 2014 and has led the team to the NCAA Tournament in two of the last four years. He is 157-93 in his eight seasons on the sideline and has led the Tigers to a 19-1 record this season. 

Pearl has also been lauded for his recruiting in recent years as Auburn has landed five-star Jabari Smith, who is currently a freshman, and four-star 2022 prospect Chance Westry. 

Before joining Auburn, Pearl spent four seasons as head coach of the Milwaukee Panthers from 2001-05 and six seasons as head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers from 2005-11.