"Over the past couple years, Steve has made a tremendous impact on our recruiting," UT head coach Bruce Pearl said. "But as a former head coach, Steve understands the challenges programs face in all aspects of the game.
"Most recruiters are simply that--bring in talent every year, and then go back out on the road. But Steve is different. His strengths are the relationships and levels of trust he's able to build with our student-athletes. He is a complete coach."
Forbes and Pearl first got to know each other when Pearl was an assistant at Iowa. The Vols have been the direct beneficiaries of the two working together.
In the four seasons Forbes has sat alongside Pearl on the Tennessee bench, the Vols have won an average of 26 games per year and have advanced to four consecutive NCAA Tournaments--making three Sweet Sixteen appearances and advancing to the program's first-ever Elite Eight in 2010.
The Vols have led the Southeastern Conference in steals in two of his four seasons on Rocky Top and have twice posted the league's best 3-point field-goal percentage defense.
In 2010, Forbes' defensive coaching prowess helped Tennessee post historic wins over top-ranked and previously unbeaten Kansas as well as second-ranked Kentucky and fifth-ranked Ohio State.
The Vols won a school-record 31 games in 2008, and their 14-2 league record gave the program its first outright SEC championship in more than 40 years. Following a 66-62 win at top-ranked Memphis on Feb. 23, 2008, UT earned the first No. 1 ranking in school history.
Listed as the No. 8 assistant coach in the nation by FOXSports.com, Forbes has played a key role in recruiting top talent to Knoxville. Tennessee's 2006, 2008 and 2010 recruiting classes each were ranked among the top 10 nationally by multiple ratings services.
Forbes came to Tennessee after spending two seasons at Texas A&M, where he helped turn the Aggies from a team that had posted a 7-21 record the previous season and hadn't received a postseason invitation in 11 years, to a program that averaged more than 21 wins in his two seasons and advanced to postseason play both years.
A&M posted back-to-back seasons with the most Big 12 Conference wins in school history with Forbes on the bench. Picked to finish last in the Big 12 prior to the 2004-05 season, the Aggies won their first 11 games and went on to a 21-10 record and made an appearance in the National Invitation Tournament. In 2005-06 Texas A&M advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1987 while recording a 22-9 record, the third-most wins in school history. The Aggies defeated Syracuse in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to eventual Final Four participant LSU on a last-second shot.
Texas A&M's recruiting also benefited from Forbes' experience, as each of the Aggie's two recruiting classes during his time in College Station were ranked among the top 10 in the nation.
Before joining Billy Gillispie's coaching staff at Texas A&M, Forbes coached at Illinois State (2003-04) and spent three years at Louisiana Tech (2000-03), where he helped sign two nationally-ranked recruiting classes, including a top-10 class in 2003. In 2002 the Bulldogs posted a 22-10 record and went 2-1 in the National Invitation Tournament, their first postseason appearance in 10 years.
In 1998 Forbes joined the Idaho coaching staff as an assistant coach before being promoted to associate head coach for the 1998-99 season. In his first season, the Vandals improved to 16-11 and signed a nationally-ranked recruiting class.
Forbes compiled a 68-28 record in three years (1995-98) as the head coach at Barton County Community College in Great Bend, Kan. During his three seasons competing in the Jayhawk Conference, the Cougars produced three All-Americas, twice finished the season with a national ranking and earned victories over 15 nationally-ranked teams.
After spending two years (1989-91) as an assistant coach at Southwestern Community College in Creston, Iowa, Forbes was promoted to head coach in March 1991.
A native of Lone Tree, Iowa, Forbes graduated from Southern Arkansas University with a degree in secondary education in 1988. A former baseball student-athlete for the Muleriders, Forbes spent one year at his alma mater as the sports information director before embarking on a coaching career.
Forbes and his wife, Johnetta, have a daughter, Elizabeth, and two sons, Christopher and Johnathon.