Worst head coach hires in Tennessee basketball history

Tennessee basketball has had a rocky history. Some great hires have brought great coaches to Knoxville and other hires have been a disaster. 

Veterans Classic Tennesse vs Virginia Commonwealth
Veterans Classic Tennesse vs Virginia Commonwealth / Tommy Gilligan/GettyImages
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Texas A&M v Tennessee
Texas A&M v Tennessee / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

Donnie Tyndall (2014-2015)

The first coach on this list is also the most recent. Tennessee's athletic administration was looking to replace Bruce Pearl after unceremoniously firing him for a recruiting violation. After Pearl came Cuonzo Martin, and then he left, forcing the Vols to hire its second coach in four years.

Donnie Tyndall was hired and fired within one year, going 16-16 in his lone year on Rocky Top and being another Tennessee basketball coach being let go for committing more NCAA violations.

You could argue Pearl might belong on this list next to Tyndall, but his firing should not erase the success he had in his six years in Knoxville. Pearl's 70% winning percentage automatically disqualifies him from being on this list.

Tennessee knew what they were getting with Tyndall. He spent a few years on probation while coaching at Morehead State and faced academic and financial scandals at Southern Miss. Not only did this hire not help the Vols on the court during Tyndall's tenure, but it was clear that the administration's decision-making was beyond poor during this hiring process.

This was undoubtedly the worst head coaching hire in the modern era of Tennessee basketball. Still, it could have led to Tennessee's best hire in program history, with Rick Barnes taking over the Vols' basketball program as a result.