The news is unexpected, but not at all surprising. English, a former Missouri basketball star who played 41 games with the Detroit Pistons, has made a name for himself in his first major conference coaching gig. He is reputed as an upcoming the coaching world, both for his recruiting and player development. If anything, it may be more surprising English is leaving for an assistant job instead of a head coaching job.
At Tennessee, English is headed back to one of the premier programs of the SEC. The Vols are losing Grant Williams to the NBA Draft and Admiral Schofield to graduation, but they should still be a Top 25 team in 2019-2020. He could reasonably use the job in Knoxville to eventually earn the head coach position he’s destined for.
English will be working under Rick Barnes, who nearly left Tennessee for UCLA, but instead used the threat of leaving to get himself a pay raise. In his first five years of coaching, English will have worked with Frank Haith at Tulsa, his former coach at Missouri, Tad Boyle at Colorado and now Rick Barnes at Tennessee, both of whom he played against back in the Big XII.
It is unclear who Colorado will target to replace English, but we will update on the story whenever we find out.
We wish nothing but the best for Kim English at Tennessee and wherever else he will coach. It’s been a great two years with him around and he had great relationships with the players and Boyle.