John Pelphrey hired as head coach at Tennessee Tech

By: Matt Jones
Published: Saturday, April 6, 2019
Alabama assistant coach John Pelphrey is shown prior to a game against Arkansas on Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Alabama assistant coach John Pelphrey is shown prior to a game against Arkansas on Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Fayetteville.

Eight years after he was fired by Arkansas, John Pelphrey is a head coach again.

Pelphrey, 50, was hired by Tennessee Tech on Saturday, tasked with turning around a program that has had losing records two of the past three seasons, including 8-23 overall and 4-14 in Ohio Valley Conference play this year.

Tennessee Tech fired former coach Steve Payne last month. Pelphrey will be formally introduced at an April 12 news conference.

"It's an honor and privilege to be at Tennessee Tech," Pelphrey said in a statement announcing his hire. "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.”

Pelphrey has a career record of 149-122 in nine seasons as a head coach at South Alabama and Arkansas. He was 69-59 in four seasons with the Razorbacks, and led Arkansas to the NCAA Tournament in 2008, his first season with the program.

Pelphrey was fired following the 2011 season when the Razorbacks finished 18-13. He has spent seven of the past eight seasons working as an assistant coach at Florida and Alabama, and spent a year in between those jobs working as an analyst on the SEC Network.

Pelphrey was an assistant coach on Avery Johnson's Alabama staff the past four seasons. Johnson resigned as the Crimson Tide head coach last month.

Pelphrey grew up in Paintsville, Ky., about 240 miles from the Tennessee Tech campus in Cookeville, Tenn. Pelphrey was the state's Mr. Basketball as a senior and was a four-year letterman at Kentucky.

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