(USA Today/Joshua Kelly).
(USA Today/Joshua Kelly).

Clemson recruiting director hired to UAB staff

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BIRMINGHAM – UAB head men's basketball coach Andy Kennedy has announced the additions of Philip Pearson, Ryan Cross and Sidney Ball to his staff. Pearson and Cross will be assistant coaches while Ball will serve as Director of Basketball Operations.

Pearson, who brings over 20 years of coaching experience working with multiple Division I programs, comes to UAB after spending last season as the director of recruiting at Clemson. Additionally, he has had stops at Georgia, Alabama, Murray State and Little Rock. The teams that Pearson has been on staff have combined for 17 postseason appearances and six conference championships.

Pearson joined Mark Fox's Georgia staff in 2009 as an assistant and was elevated to associate head coach in 2015. While at UGA, the Bulldogs made two NCAA Tournament and three NIT appearances. He coached the 2013 SEC Player of the Year and number eight overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

Prior to his time in Athens, Pearson was an assistant at his alma mater, the University of Alabama, under Mark Gottfried from 1998-2009. He was named the Crimson Tide's interim head coach during the final 13 games of the 2008-09 season, which saw him lead Alabama to a first-round victory over Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament.

During his time in Tuscaloosa, Alabama won over 200 games, captured the 2002 SEC Championship, played in five NCAA Tournaments, reached the NCAA Elite Eight in 2004 and earned the program's first-ever No. 1 ranking in 2002.

He coached NBA draft picks Gerald Wallace and Mo Williams as well as current L.A. Clippers forward JaMychal Green, former NBA players forward Tony Mitchell and Alonzo Gee as well as the 2002 SEC Player of the Year Erwin Dudley.

Before his coaching stint at Alabama, Pearson was on the coaching staff at Murray State, also with Gottfried. He served in a numerous capacities including: assistant coach, director of basketball operations and administrative assistant from 1995-98. During his tenure, the Racers won three Ohio Valley Conference titles and two OVC Tournament crowns, playing in a pair of NCAA Tournaments and one NIT.

While with the Racers, Pearson coached a pair of OVC Players of the Year – two-time winner and NBA draft pick Marcus Brown as well as De'Teri Mayes.

Pearson got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at Little Rock under the legendary Wimp Sanderson, his coach at Alabama during his first three seasons playing for the Crimson Tide. Among Pearson's first players he coached at Little Rock was five time NBA champion Derek Fisher.

As a player at Alabama, Pearson played on four consecutive NCAA Tournament teams and won back-to-back SEC Tournament Championships in 1990-91. He was named the team's recipient of the Paul Bryant Student-Athlete of the Year award and was also a member of the President's List Academic Honor Roll.

A native of Montgomery, Ala., Pearson was a standout athlete at Jeff Davis High School. He received his bachelor's degree in human performance from Alabama in 1993 and his master's degree in health, physical education and recreation from Murray State in 1997.

Pearson and his wife, Ashley, have three children, Mary Collins, William and Catherine.


"I have known Philip since my time as a player back in the early 90s. He's from Alabama and has coached in the SEC for nearly two decades. Philip is a hard worker who will bring invaluable experience to our program in all aspects of the job."

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