Alabama hires Pelphrey


Former Florida assistant coach John Pelphrey is moving on to another SEC program.

Alabama announced that Pelphrey is joining Avery Johnson’s staff as associate head coach, confirming a tweet from a week ago that he had accepted the job.

Pelphrey was an assistant under Florida coach Billy Donovan for a pair of stints, from 1996-2002 and 2011-14. However, Pelphrey was not considered for the head coaching job at UF when Donovan left for the Oklahoma City Thunder in May of 2015. Instead, UF went outside the program to hire Louisiana Tech coach Mike White, who posted a 21-15 record in his first year on the job.

Pelphrey took a year off from coaching, living in Gainesville and working as a basketball analyst for the SEC Network while his oldest son, Jaxson, was completing his senior year at P.K. Yonge High School. Pelphrey’s daughter, Ann-Marie, just completed her sophomore year at P.K. Yonge and played on the Blue Wave’s women’s basketball team.

But the Alabama opportunity was too tempting to pass up. Pelphrey was attractive to Johnson because of both his SEC ties and Alabama ties. In addition to his two stints at Florida, Pelphrey was a former standout player at Kentucky (1988-92) and former head coach at Arkansas (2007-11). Before Arkansas, Pelphrey was the head coach at South Alabama from 2002-07.

Other notes:

— Donovan finished his first regular season as an NBA coach by leading the Oklahoma City Thunder back to the Western Conference playoffs after a one-year absence with a 55-27 record. As the third seed in the West, Donovan’s Thunder could face Memphis, Dallas or Portland in the first round of the playoffs, depending on how all three teams finish the season Wednesday night.

— Three Louisiana Tech players who played under White announced their intentions to transfer a few days ago. One that could possibly make sense for the Gators is 6-foot-5. 200-pound sophomore guard Dayon Griffin, who averaged 11.3 points for Louisiana Tech and shot 37 percent from 3-point range. Griffin is from St. Petersburg and went to St. Petersburg High School.