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How Tubby Smith Found Out He was Fired at Minnesota

Star Tribune

After winning an NCAA Tournament game for the Golden Gophers in 2013, Tubby Smith was fired a few weeks later by new Minnesota athletic director Norwood Teague.  It was weird.  It was even weirder when Richard Pitino replaced him.  But really, it was much worse.

Pam Borton was one of Tubby’s former Minnesota colleagues.  Now the former women’s basketball coach is publishing a book about her time in the college ranks.  When discussing Norwood Teague and Tubby’s untimely departure, she holds nothing back.

“Tubby’s firing was a lesson in how not to do things,” Borton writes. “There wasn’t a communication plan in place and the conduct of the University was an embarrassment, full of disrespect, and a disgrace to a great man whose character, integrity and professionalism were unassailable.”

Just wait, it gets worse.

“Tubby’s name was scrolling across ESPN’s sports-ticker at the bottom of the television screen and his phone was ringing off the hook before the athletic director gave him the news. … He was asked to vacate the building that day and his office belongings and boxes would be delivered to his house.”

The awfulness is only compounded when you consider how great of a guy Tubby Smith is.  Since Teague made that rookie mistake, he abruptly resigned in 2015 amid sexual harassment allegations.

[Star Tribune]

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

10 Comments for How Tubby Smith Found Out He was Fired at Minnesota



  1. Badboy
    6:59 am August 11, 2016 Permalink

    I’m sick of hearing “…how great of a guy Tubby Smith is (sic).” He has accomplished nothing in his entire career apart from inheriting a great team. He is a complete coaching fraud who shamelessly took millions from UK while driving its basketball program into the dirt..



    • jonthes
      9:41 am August 11, 2016 Permalink

      You don’t know what you’re talking about. Pitino left because he didn’t have an NBA player on the roster and thought UK would fall. Tubby won a title with maybe the eighth best team in the country, the most impressive title in UK history, with the most impressive win in UK history over a Duke team with several NBA players. Pitino and Cal have only won with overwhelming talent.



    • neverendingscott
      9:50 am August 11, 2016 Permalink

      Being a great guy and a great coach aren’t the same thing



  2. UKsuperdave
    7:37 am August 11, 2016 Permalink

    Sorry to hear this. I thought Tubby was a great coach and a great guy.



  3. gabeyruth
    8:35 am August 11, 2016 Permalink

    Feel bad for Tubby after we ran him out of Lexington? Ok



    • jonthes
      9:39 am August 11, 2016 Permalink

      Tubby wasn’t run out. Barnhart – who employs his son – wouldn’t let Tubby hire Saul as an assistant, so he left as his son was more important to him than UK. A pity, Tubby had a FF team coming back/in – Draymond Green, Patrick P, Meeks, Crawford, Bradley, Moross – that would have been some team.



  4. ClutchCargo
    9:13 am August 11, 2016 Permalink

    Remember all the outrage against Minnesota by the media talking heads when Tubby got fired? Me neither.



  5. jonthes
    9:37 am August 11, 2016 Permalink

    And when given the chance, Tubby won’t say a bad word about Minnesota. I’d be happy if he was still the UK coach.



  6. 2Dogs
    10:11 am August 11, 2016 Permalink

    With apologies to any cool Norwood Teagues out there, with a name like that you’re probably destined to be a prick.



  7. mdluk1
    11:32 am August 11, 2016 Permalink

    Boo hoo. Poor tubby. You know, the great guy that was negotiating with Minnesota DURING our season?