The past week has been nothing short of tumultuous for the veteran college basketball coach, Tubby Smith. After being fired last week by the University of Minnesota, Smith has agreed on Monday to become the next head coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Although there have been no official details regarding the contract, sources from the Associated Press have confirmed the deal is a go.
The 61-year old coach endured a rather shocking firing after signing an extension that would have locked him up until the 2016-2017 season in Minnesota. That extension was agreed to last summer between the Gophers and Smith.
After leading the Gophers to their first tournament win since 1997 over UCLA, you would think Smith had a little leverage in the situation. Surprisingly, that was not the case. The Gophers appeared in three NCAA tournaments under Smith in the past six years.
Smith takes over for interim coach Chris Walker, who went a less-than-ideal 11-20 last season, including just 3-15 in Big 12 play. Walker took over when former head coach Billy Gillispie resigned in September of 2012.
The Red Raiders have not reached the NCAA Tournament since 2007, so Smith will have his work cut out for him in a program that is expecting big things. With a resume like Smith’s, the Red Raiders are destined for a much better year than last year. Hopefully if all goes according to plan, a tournament appearance will not be far off from here.
Very few coaches can come into a program that is used to mediocrity and coach them up to be a winner right off the bat, but Smith is aiming to prove he is still worthy of being in the conversation.