KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee basketball head coach Rick Barnes introduced new assistant coach Kim English at a press conference on Tuesday.
"Kim is the total package. When we have to make these types of hires, I want to get somebody that has it all. Somebody who wants it all and understands what this program is about. He fits every part of that," Barnes said.
"He could go out there and play with the guys today."
The 30-year-old English played 41 games for the NBA's Detroit Pistons in the 2012-13 season and also played profesionally overseas. He fills the open spot on the staff vacated when Rob Lanier left to take the head coaching job at Georgia State.
"I kind of always looked at the University of Tennessee, especially with Coach Barnes, that if an opportunity came up, this would be a place I'd like to be at," English said.
"I think the thing I do best as a coach is connecting with players. I connected deeply with the guys from Colorado. That was the hardest part for me. I have watched Tennessee basketball closely since Coach Barnes has been here, but Wednesday when I got to meet those guys (the Vols), I talked about it for the next two days how blown away I was how good of people these guys are. They are really good kids, and they work really hard. So I am just extremely excited to get the chance to work with them."
English spent the previous two seasons coaching on Tad Boyle's staff at Colorado and prior to that worked under Frank Haith for three years at Tulsa, first as director of player development for a season and then as an assistant coach.
Current Vols assistant Michael Schwartz worked with English on Haith's staff at Tulsa. Haith was a Barnes assistant at Texas from 2001-04 before becoming a head coach.
English got to see Barnes' prankster side well before the two ever talked about working together. Watch the video below to hear the story.
"I really got to spend time with him at Augusta at the Peach Jam. We spent a lot of time together. I knew from that day that if I ever got the opportunity to hire him, he would be a good hire," Barnes said.
"He walked into Peach Jam one night for the last game and it was very crowded and he was looking for a seat. At that time he didn't have my number, and when he sat down I texted him, 'hey man, get out of my seat or I'm going to kill you.' He looked around and then I texted again and said, 'I'm not kidding, meet me at the front door and we'll settle this right now.' This went on for about 45 minutes."
English played for Haith and Mike Anderson at Missouri from 2008-12 and was one of the winningest players in program history. He was drafted by the Pistons in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft and appeared in 41 games for Detroit that season before continuing his pro career with several teams overseas.
The 30-year-old is a native of Baltimore, Maryland.