Tony Barbee introduced as head coach at Central Michigan

Barbee has been an assistant at UK since 2014 under John Calipari
Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 2:50 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky basketball assistant coach Tony Barbee has been introduced as the new head coach at Central Michigan.

Barbee has been an assistant at UK since 2014 under John Calipari. He previously held head coaching positions at Auburn and UTEP. As a head coach, Barbee was 131-127 with one NCAA Tournament appearance.

“The last seven seasons at Kentucky have been incredible,” Barbee said. “To have the opportunity to coach at a historic and tradition-rich school like Kentucky has been a dream come true, and I want to thank Coach Cal and Mitch Barnhart for placing their faith in me to be a part of this storied program. From the moment I first put on that jersey as a player at UMass through my time at Memphis and most recently at Kentucky as an assistant, Coach Cal has been a mentor to me. I have learned so much from him, and the players-first approach that we have instilled at every place we have been together will carry on with me at Central Michigan. I want to thank Mitch Barnhart for giving me the opportunity to work and grow as a coach. I will always cherish the incredible friends and memories we built over the last seven sessions. I enjoyed every second of it. Thank you to the Big Blue Nation for all of your love and support.”

Barbee played college basketball at UMass when Calipari was the head coach.

“Tony is one of the best coaches I have ever coached with or against,” John Calipari said. “He has an unbelievable basketball mind. The game plans that he put together for us, especially on defense, were second to none. I have known him since he was 15 and I know how much this game means to him. He is my brother and always will be. I expect big things to happen for Central Michigan and their players under Tony’s leadership. He is ready for this and I look forward to watching his success.”

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