Tubby Smith was hired as Head Coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers in March 2007. That was after he had spent nine years with Kentucky. In the six seasons that 61-year-old has coached the team he can proudly say that he guided them to the Big Ten Tournament Semifinals in 2008, the Big Ten Tournament Finals in 2010, and finally to the NIT Finals in 2012.
Unfortunately, this relationship had run its course. Just one day after the Golden Gophers lost to Florida in the NCAA tournament, Gophers Athletic Director Norwood Teague announced that they were cutting ties with veteran coach Tubby Smith. According to Teague, the decision to fire Smith was based on months of evaluation and from the need to have “a fresh set of eyes” on the program.
Coaching changes and players declaring their eligibility and intent to join the NBA draft often happen this time of year, and Tubby Smith’s situation was just another example of the prior simply running its course.