Tennessee assistant coach Kim English has been hired to be the head basketball coach of George Mason, the school announced Tuesday.
English beat out several high-major assistant coaches for the job after the school conducted a national search, ESPN reports.
“Kim English is a rising star in the college basketball world,” George Mason athletic director Brad Edwards said. “He is a tremendous communicator, tireless worker and a natural leader. He develops a unique rapport with his players, which fuels their development and enriches their overall experience as student-athletes.”
English most recently served as an assistant coach under former Mason head coach and current Vols head coach Rick Barnes.
Barnes served as an assistant coach from 1980 to 1985, took a short assistant gig at Ohio State before coming to serve as the head coach of the Patriots from 1987 to 1988.
English has been an assistant coach under Barnes at Tennessee for the last two seasons.
This past season, English helped guide the Vols to a top-25 ranking and a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, marking the program’s third straight appearance in the Big Dance.
English is taking over a George Mason team that last made the NCAA Tournament in 2011, under former head coach Jim Larranaga.
The team has a Cinderella Story of its own. In 2006, the No. 11 seed GMU Patriots took down No. 1 Connecticut in overtime 86-84 and then made it all the way to the Final Four.
Before his time in Knoxville, English was an assistant coach at Colorado and Tulsa for two seasons apiece.
He also played professionally for three years — in the NBA and overseas — after being drafted in the second round by the Detroit Pistons in 2012.
English replaces Dave Paulsen, who was fired earlier this month after six seasons and a 95–91 record with the Patriots. Paulsen had one year left on his contract.
“George Mason has such a rich basketball history and is slap dab in one of the most basketball rich areas in the WORLD,” English said. “I want former Mason basketball players heavily involved in this program (It belongs to you). I hope our players make YOU proud by how hard we play.”