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George Mason names Tennessee assistant Kim English head coach

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NCAA Basketball: Arkansas at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

What was first reported by John Brice over the weekend is now happening. Kim English will be the next head coach at George Mason after spending two seasons in Knoxville under Rick Barnes.

English is viewed as one of the brightest up and comers in the sport, and today he lands his first big opportunity here with George Mason. The Patriots went 13-9 last season, prompting the firing of Dave Paulsen.

Before Tennessee, English spent a few seasons overseas, playing as a pro. He joined the college coaching ranks after that, landing at Tulsa and Colorado. Rick Barnes then hired him to replace Rob Lanier, who left to take the Georgia State job.

“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. His success at the highest levels of the game, elite recruiting ability and knowledge of the DMV area will provide our program with an outstanding foundation to establish a standard of competitive excellence in the Atlantic 10 and at the national level.”

English turned down a couple of smaller opportunities to be a head coach last season, but found the right chance this year. He will be a loss for Tennessee on the recruiting trail, as he was credited as the lead recruiting for five-star guard Kennedy Chandler in this cycle.

Rick Barnes now has an assistant coach to hire, coming just days after a disappointing first-round exit in the NCAA Tournament.