June 24, 2024

In 2022, Florida sought the assistance of Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl regarding a potential candidate for the position of head coach of basketball.

Todd Golden was the candidate Florida ultimately selected.

On Saturday, Pearl declared, “I love Todd.” “I will always adore him.” He has my utmost pride. By now, everyone in the village knows him. You are aware of your resources. You have a young, talented coach with the best morals, an amazing family, and players who play for him. Treat them with respect and follow the correct procedures. Here at Florida is one of the best young college basketball coaches there is. I was aware of that. I was happy that I got to speak with several of the Florida decision-makers in person. playing cooperatively, ferociously, and according to the rules. They are excellent. Every single night, save from when they play us, I cheer them on.

The reason Pearl was so complimentary of Golden was that the second-youngest major conference head coach in the United States was formerly Pearl’s assistant and they are still great friends today.

However, Pearl’s mentee defeated him on Saturday in Gainesville, 81-65. With the defeat, Auburn fell to 19-5 overall and 8-3 in the SEC, falling one game behind the lead.

What then did Pearl divulge to Florida regarding Golden?

Pearl recalled asking Gators officials “who’s better.” “I just said to them, ‘Stop.'” Who is better, in your opinion? Who is more adept at basketball mentality? Who gets along with the kids better? Whose family is better? Alright, so perhaps you’re unsure of his level of experience. That’s alright. At Florida, I didn’t have to persuade anybody. They seemed to be aware of what they had.

Auburn football head coach Hugh Freeze on loss to Ole Miss

Their friendship began at the 2009 Maccabiah Games, when Pearl served as head coach and Golden as the American team’s co-captain. They proceeded to take home the gold medal.

Golden was subsequently hired by Pearl to work as an assistant at Auburn from 2014 to 2016. Following his time at Auburn, Golden joined San Francisco as an assistant coach and advanced to become the head coach there in 2019.

In the 2021–22 season, Golden led San Francisco to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in almost 20 years. He also had two seasons with more than 20 wins.

He took over as head coach of the Gators in his second season after being hired by Florida in 2022.

 

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