Arrow leaves A&M- Corpus Christi for head position at South Alabama

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 season.

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 76-63.

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 NIT.

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