"From the moment I met Coach Pearl and heard his vision for our basketball program, it was clear he's the right man at the right time for Auburn," Jacobs said in the statement. "Coach Pearl is a proven winner who will bring energy and excitement to our program.
"We have raised the bar for Auburn basketball, and I could not be more excited for our student-athletes and our future under Coach Pearl's leadership. I know he agrees with me -- it's time to win."
Pearl spent four seasons at Milwaukee and took the program to two NCAA tournaments -- including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2005. He was hired at Tennessee in 2005 and was 145-61 in six seasons with the Vols.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Pearl becomes the fifth coach over the last 50 years to coach multiple SEC schools, joining Don DeVoe (Tennessee/Florida), Tubby Smith (Georgia/Kentucky), C.M. Newton (Alabama/Vanderbilt) and Eddie Fogler (Vanderbilt/South Carolina). Those four coaches all had above .500 records in their second SEC stint.
ESPN.com's Andy Katz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.