Tennessee Tech hires former Arkansas coach John Pelphrey

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John Pelphrey

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former Arkansas and South Alabama coach John Pelphrey is returning to the head coaching ranks at Tennessee Tech.

Tennessee Tech announced the hire on Saturday. Pelphrey replaces Steve Payne, who resigned last month after going 118-134 in eight seasons.

Pelphrey said in a statement that “we understand there’s a lot of work to do, but we’re going to embrace that.”

He will be introduced at a news conference Friday.

Pelphrey spent the last three years as an assistant at Alabama on the staff of Avery Johnson, who left after the season in what the school described as a mutual parting.

Pelphrey was head coach at South Alabama from 2002-07 and at Arkansas from 2007-11.

He won at least 20 games each of his last two seasons at South Alabama, including an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2006. He was fired at Arkansas after going 69-59 with one NCAA berth in four seasons.

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