Rick Barnes signs extension with Tennessee through 2026-27

Jack Pilgrim03/24/22


Article written by:On3 imageJack Pilgrim
Rick Barnes
(Photo by Dr. Michael Huang | Kentucky Sports Radio)

Get used to seeing Rick Barnes roaming the Tennessee basketball sidelines at least five more seasons, as the school announced an extension for the 67-year-old coach through the 2026-27 season on Thursday.

The extension came after the program’s 27-win season and SEC Tournament championship.

“Rick has built an incredible culture within our men’s basketball program that has spread throughout Vol Nation,” Tennessee Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Danny White said. “I’ve had a blast watching the best fanbase in the country embrace this team and create the most electric environment in college basketball. Coach Barnes’ leadership is steady, and his players exude high character. They take pride in representing our university and the state of Tennessee with class and an unrivaled competitive drive.

“Having played and coached the game, basketball has a special place in my heart. To that end, I can’t overstate how fortunate we are to have Rick Barnes leading our program. I am unbelievably excited about our bright future as we chase future championships on the hardwood.”

Barnes has led the Volunteers to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances and the school’s first SEC Tournament championship since 1979.

“After meeting with our players this week, I’m energized and eager to get back in the gym preparing for next season,” Barnes said. “Our family is blessed to be a part of the University of Tennessee family, and we appreciate the alignment of our administration. There are so many wonderful things happening on campus and throughout the community that we’re excited to support and participate in. It’s a great time to be a Tennessee Volunteer.”

The veteran coach has earned 754 career victories, including 150 in seven seasons at Tennessee.

In head-to-head matchups with John Calipari at Kentucky, Barnes has a 10-7 overall record, including 6-3 in their last nine games. Tennessee won the 2021-22 series 2-1, including a victory over the Wildcats in the SEC Tournament semifinals.

They may be great friends off the floor, but the on-court rivalry isn’t slowing down anytime soon between Barnes and Calipari.

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