Coach Tubby Smith was fired today less than 24 hours after the Minnesota Golden Gophers were ousted from the NCAA tournament.
Smith, who won his first NCAA tournament game on Friday night, couldn’t keep the momentum going and the Gophers were defeated by Florida this weekend.
Shortly after the loss, Athletic Director Norwood Teauge announced that Smith had been fired.
Teauge said: “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 … 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.”
Tubby went 124-81 at Minnesota. He was 46-62 in Big 10 Conference play and brought the Gophers to the tournament three times during his six year career in Minnesota.
This season, Tubby led the Gophers to a 15-1 start. The team was ranked as high as No. 8 but the Gophers started to fall apart toward the end of the season, losing seven of 10 games against Big 10 teams.
Smith said: “I want to thank the University of Minnesota and the people of Minnesota for giving me the opportunity to lead the Golden Gopher basketball program for six years … Our staff did things the right way and will leave knowing that the program is in far better shape than when we arrived. The people of the State of Minnesota embraced Donna and me from the beginning and we will always be grateful.”
The team has not made any announcement about potential replacements.
Are you surprised that Minnesota fired Tubby Smith? According to Yahoo Sports, the Gophers will need to pay about $2.5 million to buyout Smith’s contract.