Remember that time Head Coach Bruce Pearl took the UW Milwaukee Panthers all the way to the NCAA Sweet 16? Back in the early 2000's, AM 920, WOKY was the radio home of the UW Milwaukee Panthers.As part of the partnership, Pearl was a weekly guest on my morning show.I really don't remember talking about basketball.No really, we had more fun playing trivia and talking about current events.He was a hoot.Now the head coach at Auburn, here's a little background of Pearl's time here in Brew City.
Bruce Pearl took over as head coach of Milwaukee in 2001. In just four seasons, he compiled 86 wins (including a school-record 26 in 2005, and a new Horizon League record for winning percentage) and led Milwaukee to their first NCAA tournament appearances in 2003 and 2005. Pearl led them to the Horizon League tournament title in both of those years. He also led the school to its first ever NIT bid, as well as its first-ever NCAA D–I postseason victory, in 2004. Milwaukee's 2005 NCAA Tournament run capped the best season in school history, as the Panthers won both the regular season and conference tournament titles, defeating the Detroit Titans in the championship game. Using an intense full-court press, the Panthers scored two upsets in three days over Alabama and Boston College en route to the Sweet Sixteen, where they fell to eventual national runner-up Illinois. The Panthers finished their season 26–6 and were ranked in the coaches poll at the end of the season for the first time ever (# 23). Pearl left UWM after the 2005 season, his fourth, as the Horizon League's leader in all-time winning percentage (51–13, 79.7%).
Here's the timeline from that magical year the Panthers went to the Sweet 16.