It’s just about official: Penny Hardaway has himself a new coaching gig.
The former Orlando Magic guard has reached a deal to become the new head coach at the University of Memphis, reports Jeff Goodman of ESPN.
Former Memphis Tigers star Penny Hardaway is expected to be introduced Tuesday as the program’s head coach, sources told ESPN: https://t.co/BcoDJ93ETk— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 19, 2018
Memphis announced that a press conference will be held on Tuesday at 11 a.m. Central Time to introduce it’s new coach, though no mention of Hardaway was made, reports Gary Parrish of CBS Sports.
Hardaway, who averaged 15.2 points and 5.0 assists per game during his injury-plagued career, spent six seasons in Orlando. A four-time All-Star and 1994-1995 All-NBA first-team selection, he averaged 19.0 points and 6.3 assists per game while with the Magic.
A star at Memphis for two seasons before being drafted in 1993, Hardaway is fresh off coaching Memphis East High School to a third straight state championship. He’ll replace Tubby Smith, who was dismissed after just two years with the team, with the hope that having the school’s most prominent alum on the sideline will inject some new life into the program.
Rumors have been circulating about Hardaway being Smith’s successor since earlier this month. Another former Magic guard could soon join Hardaway’s staff, with Mike Miller expected to meet with Hardaway in the near future.
Penny Hardaway and former Grizz Mike Miller will meet early next week — likely Monday — to discuss potential role for Miller on Hardaway’s staff at Memphis, per sources.— John Martin (@JohnMartin929) March 17, 2018
The excitement of Hardaway’s return is already quite evident based on the Twitter response....
The excitement surrounding Penny Hardaway becoming the next head basketball coach at the University of Memphis is only intensifying. MAJOR boosters have told me not only will they buy season tickets again, they'll donate generously. Looks like the entire city is on Team Penny!— Doc Holliday (@The_DocHolliday) March 13, 2018
Penny Hardaway bout to have the #1 recruiting class in the country in 2 weeks. Watch.— GRADS (@MGRADS) March 14, 2018