The Maine Red Claws might be reaching high for their next head coach.

Yahoo!Sports reported Friday that the NBA Development League team has had preliminary talks with Bruce Pearl, recently fired from the University of Tennessee, about its job opening.

According to columnist Adrian Wojnarowski, Pearl and Jon Jennings, the president and general manager of the Red Claws, have had what is being called preliminary discussions about the position, which became vacant when Austin Ainge left last Friday to become the director of player personnel for the Boston Celtics.

Jennings, at the NBA predraft camp in Chicago, could not be reached for comment. He did confirm the Red Claws’ interest in Pearl to Yahoo!Sports.

The 51-year-old Pearl, a Boston native who grew up in Sharon, Mass. and graduated from Boston College in 1982, was at Tennessee for six seasons. He was fired after the Volunteers were eliminated from the NCAA tournament last March for lying to NCAA officials during an inquiry. He had a 145-61 record at Tennessee, which made the NCAA tournament in each of his six seasons.

He is known as much for his charismatic personality and flamboyant style as for his coaching success.

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

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