For the first time since the scandal that cost former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl his job, one of the members of his coaching staff will resurface at the Division I level.
Steve Forbes, who just completed his second season at junior college power Northwest Florida State, has accepted an assistant coaching position on Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall's staff, he told CBSSports.com on Monday afternoon. Forbes spent five years working for Pearl at Tennessee prior to the dismissal of the entire staff in March 2011.
The incident that cost Forbes his job and derailed his coaching career was the infamous barbecue Pearl held at his home.
A photograph surfaced showing Pearl and recruit Aaron Craft at the barbecue, a violation of NCAA rules since a coach is not permitted to be with a prospective player anywhere off campus. When asked to explain the photo by NCAA investigators, Forbes and fellow assistants Jason Shay and Tony Jones were caught off guard and lied about its origin, leading each to receive a one year show-cause penalty that expired last August.
That Forbes is the first of the assistants to reenter Division I speaks to his ability as a coach and recruiter.
Forbes, who went 62-6 at Northwest Florida State, is an ideal fit for a Wichita State program that is coming off a Final Four appearance last March and has relied heavily on junior college talent under Marshall. It's likely Forbes will feel very comfortable at Wichita State too since he told CBSSports.com he is lifelong friends with associate head coach Chris Jans and assistant coach Greg Heiar.
Given all that, it's nice to see Forbes resurface in a good spot. He has paid his dues for a mistake that he shouldn't have made but that also shouldn't be career-threatening either.