Posted March 25, 2013

Tubby Smith fired by Minnesota

NCAAB
Tubby Smith reacts to a call against Florida in the 2013 NCAA tournament. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Tubby Smith reacts to a call against Florida in the 2013 NCAA tournament. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Tubby Smith has been let go as the head basketball coach at Minnesota, according to CBS sports reporter Jeff Goodman. Smith won his first NCAA tournament game last week when Minnesota upended UCLA before being eliminated by Florida.

The Gophers went 124-81 in overall play and 46-62 in the Big Ten conference under Smith in the past six seasons. With Smith at the helm, the Gophers made the NCAA tournament in three of Smith’s six seasons but was knocked out in the first round in 2009 and 2010.

The Gophers managed to win 20 or more games in five of the six seasons Tubby Smith was head coach.


22 comments
deacon93
deacon93

Reality check, Gopher fans: Shaka Smart is NOT going to coach UM. Nor is any other "name" coach. It's a poor-to-mediocre program in a very cold climate. What's there to lure a big-time coach? Tubby Smith is as good as you will get.

BretF
BretF

Man,   I think T. Smith is a quality coach!  They have gone to the tourney 3 of 6 years?  Not bad.  What was the record of the previous 2 coaches? Wow. Dont be a coach if you want job security! At least not at u of Minn.

JimmyD
JimmyD

Who is Minnesota going to get who is better than Tubby? You're not going to get Shaka.

terry88
terry88

Call Ben Howland. Great coach at Pitt. Not the first to have issues at UCLA.

TimLaBerge
TimLaBerge

As part of the buy-out Minnesota is going to have to pay Tubby $3.35 million. As a program that is struggling to pay for even a practice facility, don't count on them having enough money to pay a "big name" coach to come in.

MartinOlague
MartinOlague

I think that the Tubby Smith did as well of a job that he could in Minnesota. His first year was a great improvement to what was there previously, but the Gophers never improved off of that. I don't think he could recruit the players he needed and he had a hard time keeping the really good players in state. With that said, I wouldn't have fired him unless I know for sure I can get a Shaka Smart or Flip Sanders. Without that, I'd keep Tubby because at least a .500 team in the Big 10 is better than the basement dwellers they were before Tubby. It's not like the basketball team was as bad as the football team under Tim Brewster.

JeffStivenson
JeffStivenson

In a way, it's too bad because he seems like a nice guy. But his teams did underachieve. This year his players were healthy, unlike other years. He didn't have any malcontents. He had an experienced team ( Rodney Williams, Mbakwe, the Hollis' ), but the team still fell apart toward the end of the year. So, I understand why they did this.

DjangoZeaman
DjangoZeaman

I really respect Tubby, but it appears that he has done as well as he can with the Gophers. 

 

Shaka Smart would be outstanding!

CJ101
CJ101

Reality check...it is Minnesota.  They won't do any better than this man.  I suspect there were other reasons we will never hear about.

mwr5053
mwr5053

U Minn is in a tough place with the history of their hoops program. I don't know who would be their best next choice to try to lead them to Big Ten and national hoops fame but most coaches will shy away I believe. I always thought Tubby was an odd fit there but he managed to win some - just not enough. Is Ben Howland ready for winters in the Twin Cities? 

ajudki20
ajudki20

Outstanding man, huh? Then why did he constantly throw his players under the bus and never man up to his role in Minnesota's failures and disappointments? 

ChadMueller
ChadMueller

He never really lived up to the hype.  They had fairly talented teams that always seemed to lose interest mid season.  Many felt this was the most talented team since the one that went to the final four.

JHK
JHK

Another school with visions of grandeur....

DanielS.Adkins
DanielS.Adkins

I hate, HATE that I wanted this to happen so badly. Tubby is an OUTSTANDING man, but either he has grown too tired/bored to compete at the highest level, or his shouting simply lost a present-generation team, rather like apparently happened at UK. Damn. Shaka Smart, paging Shaka Smart....

hal_
hal_

 @CJ101 Oh they will do better than Tubby. Tubby's been coasting on his one good season at KY for a long time now.

John NoLastName
John NoLastName

 @ajudki20 Do you know him? Have you sat and talked with him? Have you watched him over time to see what kind of man he is? I'd suggest you do that before you criticize what kind of person he is.

I went to high school with Tubby Smith, back in suburban Maryland. I won't say how many years ago, but it was a few. I was the sports editor of the school newspaper, he was the star shooting guard. I spent many an hour talking to him and watching him, and I can tell you ... you won't find a better man than Tubby Smith.

I don't know what happened at Minnesota. Perhaps it was just time to move on, for both him and the university. Perhaps it's time for him to retire. But he's the one to make that decision, not a bunch of semi-literate yahoos on an internet site.

hal_
hal_

Throwing the young men under the bus is why I'm ok with his firing.

JamesP.Melcher
JamesP.Melcher

 @DanielS.Adkins I think the firing was a mistake, and the expectation that Shaka Smart would come to the U of M is wishful thinking in the extreme. Remember, he already turned down Illinois a year ago. If he's going anywhere, it'll be to UCLA.

hal_
hal_

 @DanielS.Adkins I like your idea of Shaka Smart, but as I see it Shaka has three choices. He can stay where he is, go to UCLA, or go to the U. I think the U is a distant 3rd on that list.

ajudki20
ajudki20

 @John NoLastName Well, you're one of the yahoos on the internet here, so let's keep it classy. Plus he's fired already---it turns out the school decides stuff like this. Of course I have not met Tubby. He might be a great guy to be friends with. But I've never seen a college coach throw his own players (his recruits) under the bus so much in press conferences, and avoid any responsibility of his own.  I was shocked by this when he coached here, because I assumed a coach of his reputation didn't do Mickey Mouse stuff like that. On top of that his teams just had the look of a poorly coached bunch of guys. I don't know if that is true or not, I'm not in the huddles. But if it looks and smells like bad coaching, and the coach owns up to nothing, I'm suspicious. Either way the U of MN was paying him more than they could legitimize for the results they were getting. And that's the bottom line.