MOBILE, Ala. -- Ronnie Arrow was named head coach at South
Alabama on Tuesday, returning to the school that once abruptly
fired him from the same position.
The former Texas A&M-Corpus Christi coach replaces John
Pelphrey, who left to become head coach at Arkansas.
Arrow coached the Jaguars from 1988-94, going 114-93 and leading
the team to two NCAA tournament appearances. He was fired early in
the 1994-95 season after his team started 1-3 and allowed 100-plus
points in four consecutive games.
Arrow, who helped start the A&M-Corpus Christi program in 1999,
emerged as the top candidate to return after Charlotte coach Bobby
Lutz turned down a reported six-year deal worth about $300,000 per
A&M-Corpus Christi athletic director Brian Teter said he would
begin his search for a successor immediately.
Arrow led the Islanders to a 26-8 record and their first NCAA
tournament this past season.
The Islanders jumped out to a 25-7 lead over No. 2 seed
Wisconsin in the opening round of the NCAA tournament before losing
Arrow's biggest highlight at South Alabama was an upset of
Alabama in the 1989 NCAA Southeast Regional.
He was named the Sun Belt Conference coach of the year for the
second time after the 1990-91 season, directing the biggest
turnaround in league history. The Jaguars went from last to first
in the conference, then swept through the Sun Belt tournament to
make the NCAA field.
Arrow inherits a team that went 20-12, won the Sun Belt
Conference regular-season title and returns most of the key
players. The Jaguars lost to Syracuse in the first round of the