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Pearson is entering his 24th season of SEC basketball – five as a player at Alabama, 11 as a coach with the Crimson Tide and eight at Georgia. Throughout that span, winning has been constant and consistent. Pearson’s teams have advanced to postseason competition 20 times – 15 NCAA Tournaments and five NIT bids – and won three SEC titles.
Pearson also has more than two decades of professional experience working with Division I programs at Arkansas-Little Rock, Murray State, Alabama and Georgia. Over the past 20 seasons, teams Pearson coached have made nine NCAA Tournaments and six NIT appearances.
Pearson got his start in the coaching business in 1994 as a graduate assistant at Arkansas-Little Rock under Wimp Sanderson, his coach at Alabama during his first three seasons playing for the Crimson Tide. Among Pearson’s first pupils at UALR was former New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher.
The next year, Pearson joined the staff at Murray State, first as an administrative assistant in 1995-96, then as director of basketball operations for the 1996-97 season and as a full-time assistant coach for 1997-98. Murray State won three Ohio Valley Conference titles and two OVC Tournaments with Pearson on the staff.
After the Racers played in their second straight NCAA Tournament in 1998, Pearson returned to his alma mater, where he remained until 2009. During that time, Alabama won more than 200 games, captured the 2002 SEC Championship, played in five NCAA Tournaments, reached the NCAA “Elite Eight” in 2004 and earned the program’s first-ever No. 1 ranking in 2002.
Pearson earned high praise for his performance as the Crimson Tide’s interim head coach during the final 13 games of the 2008-09 campaign. Alabama won six of those contests, including a first-round matchup with Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament.
Pearson was a five-year playing member of the Alabama program, the first three under Sanderson and the latter two under David Hobbs. During his playing days, the Crimson Tide advanced to the 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1994 NCAA Tournaments and won the 1990 and 1991 SEC Tournaments. Pearson was named the team’s recipient of the Paul Bryant Student-Athlete of the Year Award and earned a spot on the President’s list academic honor roll.
All told, Pearson spent 16 years representing the Alabama program as a player or coach. He played with or coached 15 members of Crimson Tide rosters who went on to play in the NBA. During Pearson’s playing career he was teammates with future NBA players Robert Horry (seven-time NBA champion), Antonio McDyess, Latrell Sprewell, Keith Askins, Jason Caffey, David Benoit, James Robinson, Eric Washington, Marcus Webb and Roy Rogers. While a coach in Tuscaloosa, Gerald Wallace, Rod Grizzard, Mo Williams, Jermareo Davidson and Richard Hendrix all reached the NBA.
A native of Montgomery, Ala., Pearson was an all-city performer in basketball and also lettered in baseball at Jeff Davis High. He received his bachelor’s degree in Human Performance from Alabama in 1993 and his master’s in Health, Physical Education & Recreation from Murray State in 1997.
Pearson and his wife, Ashley, have three children: Mary Collins (16), William (14) and Catherine (12).
Birthdate: February 16, 1971
Hometown: Montgomery, Ala.
Family: Wife - Ashley
Children: Mary Collins (16), William (14) and Catherine (12)
Jeff Davis High School, 1989
Alabama, bachelor's in Human Performance, 1993
Murray State, master's in Health, P.E. & Recreation, 1997
Graduate Assistant, Arkansas-Little Rock, 1994-95
Administrative Assistant, Murray State, 1995-96
Director of Basketball Operations, Murray State, 1996-97
Assistant Coach, Murray State, 1997-98
Assistant Coach, Alabama, 1998-2009
Interim Head Coach, Alabama, 2008-09
Assistant Coach, Georgia, 2009-15
Associate Head Coach, Georgia, 2015-Present
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