MEMPHIS, Tenn.- Former Memphis Tigers great, Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, who is a two-time All-American and four-time NBA All-Star during his playing days, has returned home to his alma mater.
On Tuesday, Hardaway, 46, was named University of Memphis men’s basketball coach in a press conference at the Laurie-Walton Family Basketball Center on the Park Avenue Campus. Hardaway becomes the school’s 19th coach and the third former Tiger player to lead the program, following Wayne Yates (1974-79) and Larry Finch (1986-97).
Hardaway, who played for Finch, begins his first job as a college head coach after a successful run at East High School. East High won state titles in 2016, 2017 and 2018. With Hardaway serving as head coach, the Mustangs defeated Whitehaven High last weekend in Murfreesboro, Tenn., for the Class AAA championship.
“It’s an exciting day for the city,” Tigers athletic director Tom Bowen said.
Hardaway will assume the reins of a program that went 40-26 in two seasons under Tubby Smith, but did not make the postseason. Memphis finished 21-13 this season, falling in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference Championship to top seed Cincinnati.
“This is truly a blessing,” Hardaway said. “I’m ready to get the team back to the glory days.”
Video clip of the press conference: