Pelphrey to leave South Alabama after five years

Updated: April 9, 2007, 6:34 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Arkansas' search for a new head basketball coach appears to finally be over. The Razorbacks are set to hire South Alabama's John Pelphrey, a source close to the situation told ESPN.com's Andy Katz.

Closer Look: John Pelphrey's Record
John Pelphrey

In 2006, John Pelphrey led South Alabama to its first NCAA tournament appearance since 1998. Before becoming the Jaguars' coach, Pelphrey was an assistant for Billy Donovan at Marshall and Florida.

School Years Overall NCAAs
South Alabama 2003-07 80-67 0-1

Pelphrey, 38 accepted the position Sunday and informed his players at South Alabama of his decision. Arkansas has scheduled a 4 p.m. ET news conference Monday to introduce its new coach, but has not said who it will be.

Pelphrey will take over for Stan Heath, who was fired in March after five seasons at the helm. Heath led Arkansas to the NCAA Tournament this season, where it bowed out in the first round for the second straight year.

Last week, the Razorbacks thought they had their man. Creighton coach Dana Altman took the position, but then changed his mind and returned to Creighton.

Now they turn to Pelphrey. In five seasons, Pelphrey led South Alabama to an 80-67 record. Pelphrey took the Jaguars to the 2006 NCAA Tournament, their first appearance since 1998.

Pelphrey has plenty of Southeastern Conference experience. He was an assistant at Florida from 1996-2002. He also played at Kentucky.

His college playing career ended on one of the most memorable shots in NCAA Tournament history. Pelphrey was standing only a few feet from Duke's Christian Laettner when Laettner made his famous buzzer-beater against Kentucky in the 1992 round of eight.

After that, Pelphrey became an assistant at Oklahoma State and Marshall before heading to Florida.

Andy Katz is a senior writer for ESPN.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.