Tubby Smith hints he should have left Gophers before getting fired


It appears that Tubby Smith wishes he would have left Minnesota before he was fired by the Gophers in 2013.

USA Today Sports has a story about coaches on the "hot seat" and how NCAA Tournament bids can help save jobs. But Smith hinted that his seat was too hot to save his job with the Gophers.

When a coach's name begins to circulate as one on the so-called hot seat, it's hard to reverse course, much like swimming upstream. Smith felt he stayed too long at Minnesota and that, in the end, not even a victory in the 2013 NCAA tournament proved enough to save his job.

"Whenever you hear those rumblings, you have to make sure to keep your ear to the ground," Smith, now at Texas Tech, told USA TODAY Sports. "In every organization, when you see things change, it's already coming down, it may be too late. You've got to be proactive. You've got to know when to move."

Smith was fired after six years at the University of Minnesota after the Gophers were knocked out of the 2013 tournament by Florida in the Round of 32. Two days earlier the Gophers defeated UCLA in the second round for the University's first tournament victory since the 1996-97 team's vacated run to Final Four, according to ESPN.

Smith compiled a 124-81 record with the Gophers.

According to Sports Radio 1340 in Lubbock, Texas, Smith has a record of 27-37 in two seasons at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders finished this season 13-19 overall and dead last in the Big 12 (3-15).

Under the second-year guidance of head coach Richard Pitino, the Gophers failed to make any postseason tournament this season.

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