Minnesota fires Tubby Smith after 6 seasons

Minnesota fired Tubby Smith on Monday, cutting ties with the veteran coach one day after the Golden Gophers lost to Florida in the NCAA tournament.

Athletics director Norwood Teague announced the decision Monday and said it was time for a “fresh set of eyes” on the program. The school will hold a press conference at 4 p.m. ET.

Smith was 124-81 (.610) in six seasons at Minnesota, helping to bring the program back to respectability and ramping up expectations for a team hit hard by an academic cheating scandal.

Smith won 20 games five times. But he went just 46-62 in Big Ten play and never finished higher than sixth in the conference. The Gophers made three NCAA tournament appearances under Smith. They beat UCLA this year before losing on Sunday. Read the full AP story here.

[RELATED: Twitter reaction to Smith firing | Dienhart: 'It's Shaka Smart or bust' ]

Teague announced that a national search for the 17th men’s head basketball coach in the history of the Golden Gopher program is ongoing.

“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,” Teague said in a statement. “We are grateful to Tubby and his entire staff for their hard work and dedication to this University, our students and the entire Minnesota community. We wish Tubby, Donna and the entire staff well.”

2007-08 Minnesota 20-14 NIT First Round
2008-09 Minnesota 22-11 NCAA First Round
2009-10 Minnesota 21-14 NCAA First Round
2010-11 Minnesota 17-14  –
2011-12 Minnesota 23-15 NIT Runnerup
2012-13 Minnesota 21-13 NCAA Third round
6 seasons 124-81
21 seasons

In their first game of this year’s NCAA Tournament, the No. 11-seed Golden Gophers beat UCLA. In the second NCAA tourney game, Minnesota rallied from a 21-point halftime deficit to pull within seven of third-seeded Florida, but Minnesota lost.

Minnesota hired Smith on March 23, 2007 . Before that, Smith spent 10 seasons (1997-2007) in the Southeastern Conference as the head coach at Kentucky, where he led the Wildcats to the 1998 National championship, four “Elite Eight” appearances, five SEC titles, five SEC Tournament titles and six “Sweet Sixteen” finishes.

[RELATED:  2012-13 Minnesota stats 2012-2013 Minnesota roster | 2012-2013 Minnesota schedule ]

Look back at the 2012-2013 Minnesota season with the schedule below.

Date Opponent Time TV Result
Fri. Nov. 9 vs. American University 8:00 PM ET W 72 – 36
Mon. Nov. 12 vs. Toledo 8:00 PM ET W 82 – 56
Thu. Nov. 15 vs. Tennessee State 8:00 PM ET ESPN3 W 72 – 43
Sun. Nov. 18 vs. Richmond 7:00 PM ET BTN/BTN2Go W 72 – 57
Thu. Nov. 22 vs. Duke* 3:30 PM ET L 71 – 89
Fri. Nov. 23 vs. Memphis* 1:00 PM ET W 84 – 75
Sat. Nov. 24 vs. Stanford* 3:30 PM ET W 66 – 63
Tue. Nov. 27 at Florida State 7:15 PM ET ESPN2/ESPN3 W 77 – 68
Sat. Dec. 1 vs. North Florida 2:00 PM ET W 87 – 59
Tue. Dec. 4 vs. South Dakota State 8:00 PM ET ESPN3 W 88 – 64
Sat. Dec. 8 at USC 10:30 PM ET PACN W 71 – 57
Tue. Dec. 11 vs. North Dakota State 9:00 PM ET BTN W 70 – 57
Sat. Dec. 22 vs. Lafayette 7:00 PM ET BTN W 75 – 50
Mon. Dec. 31 vs. Michigan State 2:00 PM ET ESPN2/ESPN3 W 76 – 63
Sun. Jan. 6 vs. Northwestern 7:00 PM ET BTN W 69 – 51
Wed. Jan. 9 at Illinois 9:00 PM ET BTN/BTN2Go W 84 – 67
Sat. Jan. 12 at Indiana 12:00 PM ET BTN/BTN2Go L 81 – 88
Thu. Jan. 17 vs. Michigan 7:00 PM ET ESPN/ESPN3 L 75 – 83
Wed. Jan. 23 at Northwestern 9:00 PM ET BTN/BTN2Go L 48 – 55
Sat. Jan. 26 at Wisconsin 2:00 PM ET BTN/BTN2Go L 44 – 45
Tue. Jan. 29 vs. Nebraska 9:00 PM ET BTN/BTN2Go W 84 – 65
Sun. Feb. 3 vs. Iowa 1:00 PM ET BTN/BTN2Go W 62 – 59
Wed. Feb. 6 at Michigan State 7:00 PM ET BTN/BTN2Go L 50 – 61
Sun. Feb. 10 vs. Illinois 6:00 PM ET BTN/BTN2Go L 53 – 57
Thu. Feb. 14 vs. Wisconsin 7:00 PM ET ESPN/ESPN3 W 58 – 53
Sun. Feb. 17 at Iowa 2:06 PM ET BTN/BTN2Go L 51 – 72
Wed. Feb. 20 at Ohio State 7:00 PM ET BTN/BTN2Go L 45 – 71
Tue. Feb. 26 vs. Indiana 7:00 PM ET ESPN/ESPN3 W 77 – 73
Sat. Mar. 2 vs. Penn State 3:00 PM ET BTN W 73 – 44
Wed. Mar. 6 at Nebraska 9:00 PM ET BTN/BTN2Go L 51 – 53
Sat. Mar. 9 at Purdue 12:00 PM ET BTN/BTN2Go L 73 – 89
Thu. Mar. 14 vs. Illinois* 12:00 PM ET BTN L 49 – 51
Fri. Mar. 22 vs. UCLA* 9:57 PM ET TRU W 83 – 63
Sun. Mar. 24 vs. Florida* 6:10 PM ET TNT L 64 – 78



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Show Comments (8 Comments)
8 Post Your Comment
Mike Lichtenheld on 3/25/2013 @ 2:58pm EDT Said:

Just pointing out a typo. Minnesota was bounced out in now what is considered the third round of the tournament (really more like the 2nd) this year. In the season breakdown image above, it states “NCAA First round”

    BTN.com staff on 3/25/2013 @ 3:18pm EDT Said:

    Mike, our mistake, and we regret the error. This post has been corrected to reflect the change.

shookwriter27 on 3/25/2013 @ 3:55pm EDT Said:

It’s going to be hard for them to find somebody better than Tubby Smith.

aroznowski on 3/25/2013 @ 5:36pm EDT Said:

I am expecting something big now from Norwood Teague. Tubby Smith is a solid coach that has won a national championship. If Teague hires someone similar to Dan Monson, I will be very frustrated with this firing. If he hires someone with a strong pedigree like Flip Saunders or Shaka Smart, I will be more than content with this move. I’ll just have to wait for the hire before I pass further judgement.

Roger on 3/26/2013 @ 9:42am EDT Said:

Twenty game winner five out of six years he coached. In the mounting expectations, the fans are too fickle.

Jeanne Young Raby on 3/26/2013 @ 5:44pm EDT Said:


Mike Smith on 3/27/2013 @ 7:44am EDT Said:

Your story leaves out the most important part of Tubby’s record: graduation rate and lack of scandal. He ran a quality program respected by everyone else in the Big 10. Remove table showing this season’s won/lost record and replace it with a table showing the academic records of his teams over the years; that’s what’s really important here.

Midlomonarch on 3/27/2013 @ 3:41pm EDT Said:

Mike Ellis the assistant AD was instrumental in starting the Villa7 program. This program brings talented assistant coaches to AD’s around the country. It’s how VCU landed Shaka Smart. They believe they can strike gold again with a coach from this program. If you look up Villa7 the track record of these young coaches seems to suggest that they will be successful in finding a really good if not great coach.

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