It's been three years since Tubby Smith was let go by the University of Minnesota. In those three years he's done a pretty good job rebuilding a Texas Tech basketball program that's on the brink of ending a decade-long NCAA Tournament drought.
Tubby was good enough this season to garner the Sporting news National Coach of the Year award.
Sporting News says:
"Three seasons later, Smith has Texas Tech on the brink of an NCAA Tournament bid, what would be the school’s first in nearly a decade and the only 15th in its history. Five years after Billy Gillispie’s one disastrous season resulted in a single conference victory, the Red Raiders went 19-11 overall, 9-9 in the Big 12 and defeated three consecutive ranked opponents in mid-February. They lost seven of their eight games in one January stretch but recovered to win five in a row."
Smith told Sporting News that he loved his time in Minnesota; so much so that his staff at Tech Tech still includes Vince Taylor, who had worked for him at the U of M and his former Gophers director of operations Joe Esposito.
The award from Sporting News falls on the heels of Smith being named the Big 12 coach of the year.
Meanwhile, the Gophers are in search of a new athletics director since Norwood Teague's ugly dismissal and the men's basketball team is about to enter the Big Ten Tournament with just 2 conference wins and 5 players that have either been suspended or kicked off the team this season.