Tennessee coach Rick Barnes says that he believes ''the final chapter of my coaching career is going to be in Knoxville.''
Barnes nearly left Tennessee for UCLA after leading the Volunteers to a Sweet 16 berth last season. Barnes said afterward that he probably would have left if UCLA officials had been willing to pay the buyout owed as part of his Tennessee contract. UCLA hired Mick Cronin away from Cincinnati instead.
After agreeing to stay at Tennessee, the 65-year-old Barnes received a hefty raise enabling him to make $26 million over the next five seasons.
While discussing the likelihood he will stay in Tennessee for the rest of his coaching career, Barnes praised the Volunteers' fans. Barnes noted how Tennessee fans were supportive early in his tenure when the team wasn't as successful as it has been the last two seasons.