Memphis Basketball: Penny Hardaway Named Head Coach

Anfernee `Penny’ Hardaway is returning to the University of Memphis. On Tuesday, it was announced that the former Tiger and NBA star has agreed to a deal with the program that will make him the next head coach of the basketball program.

The 46-year-old was a two-time All-American during his career with Memphis.

Hardaway’s No. 25 jersey has been retired from the program.

From the release:

In his two seasons, Hardaway led the team to a 43-23 record – including eight wins over nationally ranked schools — and directed the Tigers to two NCAA Tournament appearances, including an Elite Eight trip in 1992.

A two-time All-American and two-time Great Midwest Conference Player of the Year, Hardaway averaged 22.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 2.4 steals in 1992-93.  After his junior year, Hardaway declared for the NBA Draft and began a 14-year pro career with the Orlando Magic (1993-99), the Phoenix Suns (1999-2004), the New York Knicks (2004-06) and the Miami Heat (2007).

The No. 3 pick in the 1993 NBA Draft, Hardaway quickly rose to stardom with the Magic. He averaged 16.6 points, 6.6 assists and 5.4 rebounds in his first season and was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team.

Last season, Tubby Smith led the Tigers to a 21-13 record in his second season. Memphis had a 10-8 conference record which ranked fifth in the AAC. The team lost to UCF in the quarterfinals of the AAC Tournament and did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament or NIT.