John Pelphrey

Head Basketball Coach

University of Arkansas


John Pelphrey

Legendary college basketball coach Rick Pitino called John Pelphrey one of the brightest young coaching stars in college basketball. Now Pelphrey, 38, who was named head basketball coach at the University of Arkansas in April, has a chance to prove it.

Pelphrey was tapped to lead the tradition-rich Razorbacks after just five seasons as a Division I head coach at the University of South Alabama.

There Pelphrey coached the Jaguars to Sun Belt Conference division and tournament titles in 2006 and a regular season title in 2007.

But it’s the Kentucky native’s pedigree that is perhaps most impressive. Pelphrey played under former Arkansas coach Eddie Sutton and Pitino at the University of Kentucky from 1988-92, earning All-America honors in 1991 while becoming a nemesis of the Razorbacks on the court.

“You have to understand, my whole life my blood has bled blue, and I still love my alma mater,” Pelphrey said when he was hired. “But today, my blood bleeds Arkansas Razorback red.”

Pelphrey was an assistant coach under Sutton in 1994 after spending a year as a pro in France and Spain. He joined Billy Donovan as an assistant coach at Marshall for two years before following him to Florida for six seasons and eventually taking the South Alabama job in 2003.