Tubby Out at Minnesota
the second head-scratching firing in as many days, Minnesota fired head
basketball coach Tubby Smith on Monday. Smith had compiled a 124-81
record in six seasons at Minnesota and had taken the Golden Gophers past
6th seeded UCLA before falling to Florida in the Round of 32.
had previously coached at Kentucky where he won the 1998 National
Championship before a series of mediocre seasons led to his departure to
program was reeling following an academic cheating scandal. Smith
brought the program back to respectability including three NCAA
Tournament appearances, but the program never became more than solid.
Teague, the relatively new Athletic Director at Minnesota, said he felt
the program needed a “fresh set of eyes.” He could be targeting Shaka
Smart, the head coach at VCU where Teague worked prior to coming to
Minnesota. Smart could also be a target of more high profile programs
like USC and UCLA.
Other big names, including former Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders have been mentioned.
the same vein as UCLA’s dismissal of Ben Howland, many have been
critical of this decision. Critics have said that Minnesota lacks the
stature of other Big 10 programs and that Smith had been relatively
successful with the program.