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REPORT: Rick Barnes becoming a serious candidate for UCLA job

Evan Daniels of 247Sports is reporting this evening that Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes has now “emerged as a serious candidate in UCLA’s head coaching search,” according to multiple sources. Barnes was just named the 2019 Naismith Coach of the Year.

While the UCLA coaching search has been well-documented thanks to the several coaches who have turned the Bruins down or withdrawn their name from consideration (plus UCLA’s unwillingness to pay Jamie Dixon’s buy-out from TCU), pulling Rick Barnes would be a wild turn of events.

Barnes has done a really great job at Tennessee, building them up to a top-10 team this season after a strong year last season. However, the roster will be losing some key pieces going into next season. Barnes did just sign an extension with the Volunteers in September that’ll theoretically keep him in Knoxville through the 2023-24 season. The renewed contract makes him the second-highest paid coach in the SEC, as well as the 10th-highest paid coach in the country.

While Rick Barnes clearly has not accepted the job as of this point, it will be really interesting to see how this storyline develops over the next few days. When John Calipari’s name was brought up in relation to the UCLA opening, he immediately tweeted about his desire to stay with Kentucky for the rest of his career. This move for Barnes could have an affect on Tennessee’s NBA Draft decisions as well, as some players may not want to return for an extra year under a brand new coach (cough cough, Grant Williams and Jordan Bone).

Time will tell, but I’d bet the people in Knoxville (Clay Travis included) are shaking in their bright orange overalls with this report.


Article written by Brett Bibbins

Graduate of the University of Kentucky in 2015. Spend my free time watching sports, The Office or Harry Potter. Three-word phrases to live by: For The Kids and Cats by 90 @BrettBibbinsKSR

31 Comments for REPORT: Rick Barnes becoming a serious candidate for UCLA job

  1. Swizzle
    8:32 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Can these people not see chris beard. Idiots on every level.

    • JoeMoney333
      9:16 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

      He’s still coaching. You’ll hear a lot about him come the end of the week.

  2. thesslife
    9:16 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Jordan bone already declared!!

    • BBNDan7
      9:27 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

      But he said he’s open to withdrawing

  3. syrin23
    9:20 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    This would make sense. He won’t repeat at UT for a while. Lost most of his talent. Could dominate the terrible Pac 12

  4. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    9:26 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    He’s losing the reason he competed off the top of his roster. So now it’s time to go to a school where he can recruit ready to play players. Add in what he can do with multi-year guys and that kinda scares me. UCLA in 3-4 years will either bomb or be elite compared to even what UT was this year.

    • syrin23
      9:43 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

      If they are coached by Rick Barnes, they will choke in the tourney. Worst tourney coach in history. Coach K is second.

    • IrishCat
      10:05 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

      He could make tournament runs w/ guys like Kevin Durant, Avery Bradley and Lamarcus Aldridge, he’s not likely to start doing it in this lifetime. He may as well take the money while he can, and look forward to more hype and mediocrity in Westwood for the next few years.

    • IrishCat
      10:33 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

      Couldn’t make tournament runs*

    • Miller45
      10:56 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

      He lost 10 games in 06-07 and didn’t make it out of opening weekend with Kevin Durant, DJ Augustin, and dexter Pittman

    • syrin23
      2:28 am April 8, 2019 Permalink


  5. Catcasey1
    9:28 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Bring little Ricky to coach the vols

  6. maximumscott
    9:55 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Jordan Bone declared buddy

  7. Han
    10:05 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    UCLA with the bold plan to hire a guy who got knocked out of the Sweet 16 with his best team in a decade, a guy who hasn’t made a Final Four since 2003.

    I know it’s not like there are surefire guys for blue bloods to hire every year, and Barnes is good for Tennessee right now, but this is the guy they think can make them relevant again? Literally only made it out of the first weekend once in the last decade.

    • grammarpoliceUK
      2:34 pm April 8, 2019 Permalink

      I think UCLA would like any kind of relevancy right now, Might see him as a stepping stone to better things,

  8. Wade
    10:44 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    UCLA is looking to pay and Barnes may be the guy to cash in! Barnes has a contract for 6 years at 13.5 million with tn. I’m guessing ucla would double it easily to land somebody relevant. I also think beard should be looked at, hell if he wins it all and he keeps producing I’d take him at uk no questions asked when cal hangs it up! I really like him and think he’s a good dude and coach. Went to Abilene Christian only school to stop for daily prayer which is cool and he would have to be a calm dude for this job! And I guess look at pitino not gonna lie the guy can coach. I’m in my mid 30s and loved his teams! Just don’t like Rick anymore but admire his coaching. Ucla seems like a fit though!

  9. Miller45
    10:49 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Can a redneck with zero tolerance for BS who is not a people pleaser have success over there though?

  10. ClutchCargo
    11:00 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink


  11. bruce122767
    11:09 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Me thinks Mr. Barnes will come out of this with a new contract from Tennessee.

    11:33 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Bone all ready declared!! Few days ago

  13. makeitstop
    12:03 am April 8, 2019 Permalink

    Pitino really may be their best option… or Will Wade when he gets let go.

    • Ned T.
      11:07 am April 8, 2019 Permalink

      Billy Clyde Gillispie is their best option.

    • catsarerunnin
      12:52 pm April 8, 2019 Permalink

      Why would Billy Clyde leave a great coaching gig like Ranger Girls College?

  14. serdi
    7:35 am April 8, 2019 Permalink

    Barnes won’t leave UT in my opinion. Wife graduated from UT. He is a Lenoir-Rhyne grad and North Carolinian. The pressure he has there, he puts on himself. Like me he is in his sixties and sees his golden years down the street.

    • ClutchCargo
      8:50 am April 8, 2019 Permalink

      So you’re saying Rick Barnes is going to withdraw his name from consideration? Who saw that coming?

  15. Big Sexy
    10:21 am April 8, 2019 Permalink

    One of the biggest knocks I hear on him is his early exits from the tournament. His teams have have been knocked out in the first weekend something like 18 of 24 times. He has one Final Four and a couple of Elite 8s. I don’t see him as a coach for a school that wants to be elite.

  16. notFromhere
    12:03 pm April 8, 2019 Permalink

    He’d be an idiot to go to that dumpster fire of a program. It chews up and spits out coaches. If he is just wanting the money, sure, but they better pay him a TON more money (taxes and COL out there will eat up the difference). If he wants to enjoy his success and build a program in his image, UT is the place.