Mercer Names Philip Pearson Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach

Photo Courtesy Mercer Athletics

Philip Pearson, who brings more than 20 years of coaching experience working with multiple Division I programs, has been named assistant men’s basketball coach at Mercer University. Bob Hoffman, the Bears’ Head Coach, made the announcement Tuesday.

Pearson has two decades plus of professional experience working at Georgia, Alabama, Murray State and Arkansas-Little Rock. The teams he has been associated with at the coaching level have experienced steady and consistent success, having appeared in postseason play 17 times and won six conference championships.

“Coach Pearson is someone I’ve known for a long time,” Coach Hoffman stated. “He is a hard worker and understands the game at a very, very high level. His ability to recruit will be a tremendous asset to our program. Overall, he’s just a good guy and we are thrilled he’s now a part of our program.”

“We’re excited to welcome Coach Pearson, his wife and children to the Mercer family,” said Jim Cole, Mercer Director of Athletics. “He brings a high level of experience with several programs that have achieved a great deal of success. He is extremely familiar with the Southeast region and we’re glad he’s going to be a Mercer Bear.”

Most recently Pearson was the Associate Head Coach for Mark Fox at the University of Georgia. He joined the Bulldog staff in 2009 as an assistant and was elevated to Associate Head Coach in 2015. Pearson was an assistant at his alma mater, the University of Alabama, from 1998-2009 and 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 Southeastern Conference Tournament.

Before his coaching stint at Alabama, Pearson served on the coaching staff at Murray State University, where he served in the roles of assistant coach, director of basketball operations, and administrative assistant from 1995-98. During his tenure with MSU, the Racers won three Ohio Valley Conference titles and two OVC Tournament crowns.
Pearson got his coaching start as a graduate assistant at Arkansas-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 at UALR was former NBA standout and head coach Derek Fisher.

During Pearson’s time on the coaching staff at Alabama, the Crimson Tide won more than 200 games, claimed 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.

As a player at Alabama, the Crimson Tide advanced to four consecutive NCAA Tournaments and won back-to-back SEC Tournament Championships in 1990-91. Pearson 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.

Pearson had a 16-year association with the Alabama program and played with or coached 17 members of Crimson Tide rosters who went on to play in the NBA.

“I am excited to come to Macon and join Coach Hoffman and the Mercer basketball program,” Coach Pearson said. “I have had a great deal of respect for Coach Hoffman and the Mercer program over the years and I am looking forward to helping out in any way that I can.”

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 & Recreation from Murray State in 1997.

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

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