Tubby Smith Fired From Minnesota Basketball
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College basketball coach Tubby Smith coached the 11-seeded University of Minnesota men’s basketball team past six-seeded UCLA in the second round of the men’s NCAA basketball tournament, but the team lost to third-seed Florida in the next round. Evidently, a tournament showing and a winning record are not enough to guarantee a coaching position in the NCAA these days.
The University of Minnesota today announced that Smith has been ousted from his coaching job just one day after the loss to Florida.
“Tubby has had a long and distinguished career and we feel it’s time for a fresh set of eyes for our student-athletes and our program in general,” said Norwood Teague, University of Minnesota athletics director.
Smith has been the coach of Minnesota’s basketball team since 2007. In his time with the program, Smith coached the team to a 124-81 record and three NCAA tournament appearances. This week’s third-round loss was the team’s best NCAA tournament showing under Smith’s coaching.
Before taking the coaching position at Minnesota, Smith coached the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team. He had been an assistant coach for the team under coach Rick Pitino, who is currently coaching the number-one seeded University of Louisville men’s basketball team into the Sweet Sixteen
“I want to thank the University of Minnesota and the people of Minnesota for giving me the opportunity to lead the Golden Gopher basketball program for six years,” said Smith. “Our staff did things the right way and will leave knowing that the program is in far better shape than when we arrived. The people of the State of Minnesota embraced Donna and me from the beginning and we will always be grateful.”