Former Mizzou basketball star Kim English hired as George Mason head coach

Mike Wilson
Knoxville News Sentinel
Tennessee assistant basketball coach Kim English reacts during a game against St. Joseph's on Dec. 21 at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Former Missouri star Kim English was hired as the George Mason head men's basketball coach Tuesday, the school announced.

English spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at Tennessee.

George Mason is his first head coaching job.

George Mason fired Dave Paulsen on March 16 after six years without an NCAA Tournament appearance. The Patriots made the Final Four in 2006.

"I'm excited to get to know our former players, athletic staff, faculty, alumni and all of Mason Nation," English said in a statement. "I also am delighted for everyone to meet my two daughters, Celine and Ari, my parents and the rest of my family just up the road in Baltimore. I'm especially looking forward to meeting and forming bonds with our current and incoming student-athletes.

"I can't wait to get on the court with you and get started. The work has already begun to assert George Mason basketball's rightful place in the national landscape, consistently competing for Atlantic 10 championships and securing bids into the NCAA Tournament."

English, 32, joined Tennessee coach Rick Barnes' staff in April 2019. Barnes also had his first head coaching job at George Mason in 1987-88.

Barnes lauded English as "the total package" upon his hire at Tennessee.

The longtime coach did the same Tuesday.

Tennessee assistant coach Kim English gives directions during a game against Texas A&M on Jan. 28, 2020, at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn.

"From the day he joined our staff at Tennessee, he made an immediate impact on our program," Barnes said in a statement. "He has a unique gift for connecting with people and forming genuine relationships. I'm particularly proud that he gets the opportunity to begin his head coaching career at the special place that also gave me my first big opportunity. I know he'll lead the Patriots to great success."

English, a Baltimore native, spent two seasons coaching at Colorado before joining the Tennessee staff. He coached at Tulsa for two seasons prior, working on Frank Haith's staff. Haith was on Barnes’ staff at Texas from 2001-04.

English played for Haith at Missouri in his standout senior season with the Tigers.

English scored 1,570 points in his career with the Tigers, averaging 14.5 points and 4.2 rebounds in leading Missouri to a school-record 30 wins as a senior. He was drafted by the Detroit Pistons and had a short stint in the NBA.

"(English) was an awesome teammate and a tremendous leader," Haith said in a statement. "While Kim was playing professionally, he would watch our games at Mizzou and Tulsa and send me scouting reports of our next opponent. I was so impressed with his passion at the time that when he was finished playing, I hired him right away. His impact was instant. He will be special for George Mason."