University of Memphis has hired former Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith to replace John Pastner and run their men’s basketball program, according to reports from CBS Sports. Smith, a once heralded coach who led the University of Kentucky to the 1998 National Championship, brings over 550 wins with him to Memphis.
Smith will recruit top talent and win games at Memphis. This is the same coach who won at Texas Tech and Minnesota– both of whom are more known as football schools, without a practice facility. Imagine what he is going to do with at a basketball school like Memphis, where they recently broke ground on a multi-million dollar facility. There is a lot of talent in the basketball rich city, but more than anything history shows that Smith prefers building a solid foundation to having the best individual and a group of guys around him.
Smith, who recently received the John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching award, is one of two coaches to lead five different schools to the NCAA tournament. He is coming to a University of Memphis squad that is returning their leading scorer and rebounder in AAC Rookie of the Year Dedric Lawson, as well as the return of K.J. Lawson, brother of Dedric, who only appeared in 10 games last season due to injury.
Smith will earn $15.45 million over a five year agreement.