That was my view this time last year when I watched Tennessee beat Ohio State to advance to the great 8 in the 2010 NCAA tournament in St. Louis. I could have never believed that this time in 2011 I would watch the demise of Coach Bruce Pearl. In my 34 years of life I have never seen the Tennessee men’s basketball team play at the level they have over the past six years. To prove it, this football addict traveled to St. Louis to watch a basketball game. I’m glad I did. I’m glad I have that memory. I am disappointed that the university has fired Coach Pearl but I also understand that this was just a result of some very poor choices. I know Coach Pearl will learn from this and continue on with his career and Tennessee basketball will move forward. Here are some lessons I learned from Coach Pearl during his time leading the Vols…
- Honesty Matters >> We all have to remember to be truth tellers. Coach Pearl is getting fired because he lied. His offense is not the issue, the problem is he lied to the people he was accountable to. Always just tell the truth. Truth may hurt in the short term but it is always best.
- Lead with passion >> Coach Pearl always led this team with passion and his passion was contagious. People follow leaders who are passionate and combine that energy with vision.
- Maximize your team and resources >> Coach Pearl was at his best with teams that had less talent than the competition. Never make excuses and always maximize your resources.
- Advance the organization >> Coach Pearl always helped advance the women’s basketball team, football team, and academic structure of the university. Coach saw the big picture and supported more than just his team. We always have to remember that we are a part of something bigger.
- Be available >> You never knew when Coach Pearl might show up on a local sports talk radio show or at a local restaurant in Knoxville. He was available. Never get to important for time with people. Being available matters.