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Tubby Smith inducted into UK Athletic Hall of Fame

(h/t Matt Jones)

Tubby Smith accepted his induction into the UK Athletic Hall of Fame this evening, marking his first return trip to Lexington since his time as the head coach of the University of Kentucky. An emotional Tubby Smith was given a standing ovation when his name was called. Smith had a great quote during his speech, “You can leave Kentucky, but Kentucky never leaves you.”

Congratulations to Tubby Smith.

Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

43 Comments for Tubby Smith inducted into UK Athletic Hall of Fame

  1. SCCat
    9:28 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    This is a wonderful thing and I applaud the administration and everyone involved. Tubbs is a great man and coached some great teams and players.

    Go Blue, and congrats to Tubbs for adding to our legacy as the best program ever.

  2. Jjbalaan
    9:29 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    First class still with tubby. I’ll always appreciate what he did but more importantly who he is. Deserves every accolade he gets.

  3. What a joke
    9:31 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    I guess they’re letting anyone in now. When is Eddie Sutton’s induction? What about Billy Clyde?

  4. Tony Neihoff
    9:36 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby made his players go to church at least once a month. I was student during the Saul PG years. Tubby is a class act and this is well deserved. I got to meet Saul…he was raised well. Tubby is a good coach and man.

  5. What a joke
    9:41 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    First UK coach to go 8 straight years without a final four.

    –First UK coach to have to play on Thursday in an SEC tournament since the expansion to the current 12 team format.

    –The First UK coach to lose 10 or more games three years in a row, and 4 of the last 7 years.

    –The first UK coach to lose to Vandy in Rupp

    –The first UK coach to be swept by Vandy in a season in 32 years

    –The first UK coach to lose 4 straight to an SEC opponent in 30 years.

    –Only coach to lose to Ole Miss at Rupp

    –Only coach to lose to Vandy twice at Rupp

    –Only coach to lose 4 home games to SEC Opponents

    –More Home losses than any previous UK coach

    –Most Double Digit loss seasons of any UK coach

    –1st UK coach to not finish at least 2nd in the East since the SEC expansion

    –Most transfers and problem players of any UK coach

    –Never recruited a player to play in a final four in 16 years as a head coach

    –Fewest NBA draft picks of any coach with at least 5 years (only 2 1st rounders in 10 years)

    –47% of his recruits don’t make their senior year

    –Current 5 game losing streak to florida could soon be a new record

    –Only coach with the overall #1 seed in the NCAA to lose in the 2nd round

    –Lowest Average Points Scored Per Game since the 3 point shot was introduced

    –Worst loss to Indiana ever (26 points)

    –Only UK coach to lose consecutive games to Kansas

    –Worst Loss on Senior Day since 1919

    –Only UK coach with a losing record vs Michigan State (2-4)

    –Only coach to ever lose to a number 1 ranked team at rupp.

    –Only coach to ever begin the season ranked in the top 10 and finish the season unranked.

    –Worst average attendance at Rupp Arena for one season, under Tubby (00-01 avg.21,014), since it opened in 1976.

    –Rupp Arena hasn’t averaged 23,000+ since the 98-99 season in other words attendance is down due to his slower style of play.

    –Has only defeated one Top 20 team in the NCAA tourney since 1998 (#18 Utah in 2005). Also, has not defeated a single team seeded 1 – 4 in the NCAA tourney since 1998.

    –first season with 0 wins against ranked opponents going into the tournaments in 33 years.

    –From 1902-03 to 1997 Kentucky had only a total of 11 ten loss seasons. Tubby added 5 more to that total in 10 years.

  6. Chicken
    9:46 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    @ 3 Are you serious? Show some respect dude. Tubby won a title, a lot of games, and was a class act. By comparing him to Sutton and Gillispie you’re making yourself look dumb.

    Congrats Tubby Smith
    An above average coach, albeit a below average recruiter; thanks for the memories.

  7. The Reality
    9:49 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    His son was the best #11 in uk history.

  8. hendoblue
    9:51 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby won a national championship…deserves to be a Hall of Famer at UK. Isn’t that what we want our basketball teams to achieve here? He led them there. #3.. you still there? You are in the minority. Congratulations to Tubby Smith…a class act.

  9. jeff
    9:53 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    For the joke who is posting above this.

    Fact–Tubby never went to the NIT!

    I am proud Tubby was inducted to the Hall of Fame. He is still a class act and has a amazing winning percentage at UK. I know for a fact somewhere in heaven Mr Bill Keightley is very very happy and proud of his favorite UK coach tonight. Thanks for everything Tubby!

  10. hendoblue
    9:56 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    what a joke… congratulations, you win the statistics award… and the jerk award.

  11. KevinM
    10:03 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby did a lot of great things while in Lexington.

    Lots of great memories, and lots of memories that were not so great.

    But a magical year in ’98, and he outcoached K, a gritty Stanford team and Utah/Majeras to bring us #7.

    I will be forever grateful for that championship.

  12. adam
    10:04 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink


  13. Gabe
    10:06 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby is some circle’s of people in Big Blue Nation, the name Tubby Smith,may as well be President Obama! They hate You as much as they hate Obamacare. lmao

  14. rainman
    10:08 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    Congrats to Tubby, well deserved!

    He is also the 1st an only head coach at Ky. to win the title in his first year!

  15. rainman
    10:09 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    Very good analogy GABE!

  16. the realest
    10:09 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    y’all rednecks may hate tubby cause of the color of his skin not all but some…but he never went to the nit with his terrible recruits like mister 5 star recruits did last year

  17. chas
    10:14 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    You tubby lovers are still so damn funny! I love the “tubby never went to the nit”!! Tubby also never whiffed the Final Four after Pitino left him the best program ever! Your medocre God was ran off from KY and was FIRED at Minnesota!
    Thank God for John Calipari so we can forget the dark decade of tubby smith!

  18. FurdTurgason
    10:17 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    I was proud of Tubby winning a title at UK. I was proud of having him, the person he is, as my coach. But our constant failures to reach the Final Four wore on me and by the end I was glad he left. That being said, I’m so happy he got this honor. And to all those who still harbor ill feelings for his last two years, I say let it go.

  19. the realest
    10:18 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    M I serious? Know Weigh!

  20. chas
    10:19 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    #16, our mr. Fivestar is 100x’s the coach ol flubby was. Tubby is not even worth mentioning and your statement is retarded πŸ˜‰

  21. idontflinch
    10:20 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    the realest – Why do people who hate Tubby have to be rednecks? I’m a redneck and I happen to like Tubby. I did grow tired of his off season seclusion late in his tenure and his perpetual coach-speaking ways, but he was (and still is) a first class individual and was an excellent representative of my University of Kentucky Wildcats. By calling those who don’t like Tubby a redneck makes you no better than those people you’re talking about. I’m would bet a dollar to a doughnut there are plenty of non-rednecks (including black people) who don’t like Tubby, too.

  22. sky 57
    10:26 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    One does not have to be a “Tubby lover” to appreciate his contributions to UK basketball. Some bad luck and key early departures were part of the reason there were not more final four appearances. He may have won the title with Rick’s players, however they won playing his style and the 98 team seemed to love their coach, which says a lot about the man. Haters always hate

  23. Typical UK fan
    10:28 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    I cannot believe we ever hired a “boy” as our head coach.

  24. BlueTexan
    10:34 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    #5: What an idiot…Tubby should be in the rafters. YOU haters is why Tubby left and I despise you and your negative post…you’re an example of cousins marrying! Tubby is/was a gentleman and awesome coach…certainly more of an example than the ‘dribbler’ who preceded him!

  25. rainman
    10:48 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    LOOZERVILLE trolls are so predictable and easy to spot!
    BTW, did I mention Looserville SUCKS?

  26. Congratulations to Tubby!
    10:57 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink


    Tubby Smith was introduced as the Wildcats’ 20th head coach in 1997.

    -He took on the challenge of replacing a popular former coach named Rick Pitino, who left UK to become the head coach of the NBA’s Boston Celtics.

    -In his first season at UK, he coached the Wildcats to their SEVENTH NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship! Including a come-from-behind victory against the DUKE BLUE DEVILS in the Elite Eight.

    -His 1998 national championship is unique in modern times, as being the only team in over twenty years to win without a first-team All-American or future NBA lottery pick.

    -Led UK to (unheard of these days) a PERFECT 16β€”0 regular season conference record in 2003

    -2003 National AP Coach of the Year

    -Five SEC regular season championships (1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005)

    -Five SEC Tournament titles (1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004)

    -Six Sweet Sixteen finishes

    -Four Elite Eight finishes (1998, 1999, 2003, 2005)

    -He totaled 100 wins quicker than any other Wildcat coach except Hall of Fame member Adolph Rupp, reaching the plateau in 130 games.

    -In his ten seasons at Kentucky, Smith led UK to an overall record of 263β€”83 record for a winning percentage of .760.

  27. What a jerk
    11:41 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    You forgot the 4th UK coach to win National Championship. I guess that stat was inconvenient.

  28. jwall
    11:53 pm September 27, 2013 Permalink

    5. Some of that stuff isn’t even true dude

  29. mashburnfan1
    12:37 am September 28, 2013 Permalink

    #5 how many UK coaches lost in first round of freakin NIT tourney.

  30. roger
    1:51 am September 28, 2013 Permalink

    To those that hate tubby, there is no changing your mind. To those that love him, the same goes. A gentleman he is not. The language and behavior he used does not portray a gentleman. What you see in the public and what happens at practice and behind closed doors, are two different things. When all is said and done, let’s see how many championships, final fours, elite 8’s he achieves at a school not named Kentucky. Tubby is great at taking over poor teams and making them average. He also seems to be good at taking over a great team and making it average.I do give him credit for the the championship year though. Regardless of whose players, he coached the team, and the coaching decisions he made worked. Unless you believe the
    players that say that by the end of the year they played the way Pitino taught them andnot the way Tubby coached them.

  31. Dee W.
    3:16 am September 28, 2013 Permalink

    “Tubby Smith…marking his first return trip to Lexington since his time as the head coach of the University of Kentucky.”
    Nope, at least his second, maybe more, not sure, but definitely not his first return trip:

  32. Dee W.
    3:20 am September 28, 2013 Permalink

    Next after this induction into the Hall of Fame he should have the jersey/banner in Rupp. Here’s Tubby Smith’s actual record for those interested vs the nonsense posted by the bashers above:

    Tubby Smith record at Kentucky

    1997 β€” 1998 β€” 35-4 overall, 14-2 SEC, SEC regular season champions, SEC tournament Champions, NCAA Champions, SEC Coach of the Year

    1998 β€” 1999 β€” 28-9 overall, 11-5 SEC, SEC tournament Champions, NCAA Elite 8

    1999 β€” 2000 β€” 23-10 overall, 12-4 SEC, SEC regular season Champions (tied), NCAA Round of 32

    2000 β€” 2001 β€” 24-10 overall, 12-4 SEC, SEC regular season Champions (tied), SEC tournament Champions, NCAA Sweet 16

    2001 β€” 2002 β€” 22-10 overall, 10-6 SEC, NCAA Sweet 16

    2002 β€” 2003 β€” 32-4 overall, 16-0 SEC, SEC regular season Champions, SEC tournament Champions, Granted #1 seed NCAA tournament, NCAA Elite Eight, SEC Coach of the Year, Naismith National Coach of the Year, Henry Iba Award for best national coach of the year, AP National Coach of the Year, first team since 1952 to go undefeated through SEC conference play through both the regular season and tournament (and first and only to do so with 16 regular season games), new record set for highest attendance at a game at Rupp Arena during this season, largest margin of victory (62 points) over an opponent in a game since 1952, first college coach since 1975 to sweep all NCAA recognized national coach of the year honors in the same season

    2003 β€” 2004 β€” 27-5 overall, 13-3 SEC, SEC Tournament Champions, Granted #1 overall seed NCAA tournament, NCAA round of 32

    2004 β€” 2005 β€” 28-6 overall, 14-2 SEC, #1 recruiting class SEC regular season Champions, SEC tournament runner-up, NCAA Elite Eight, SEC Coach of the Year, Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year, AP National Coach of the Year

    2005 β€” 2006 β€” 22-13 overall, 9-7 SEC, NCAA round of 32

    2006 β€” 2007 β€” 22-12 overall, 9-7 SEC, NCAA round of 32

    3rd longest serving Head Coach at UK (10 years β€” a decade)

    12 total years coaching at UK

    Great ambassador for the program

    Charitable work which continues to have a strong positive impact to this day
    Tayshaun Prince was recently on KSTV and talks a lot about the influence Coach Smith had on him as a player and a person starting at about 5:04 in the video below:

    He is more than worthy to have a banner honoring him in Rupp for all of his contributions, his longevity, and his strong record. If Tubby Smith isn’t worthy of a banner being hung in his honor with that kind of a history with the program, then no one is. Period.

  33. Dee W.
    3:27 am September 28, 2013 Permalink

    “What a joke” – some of that is completely false – others twisted to make it look bad. Amazingly you confirm UK had a #1 overall seed in a season and claim that’s an example of a bad season because we got upset in the tournament…really? If it was such a horrible season and example of his bad coaching how did we get that #1 overall seed to begin with?

  34. CATandMONKEY
    3:42 am September 28, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby won with Ricks’s players? Hell, RICK couldn’t win with Rick’s own players in 1997…and by all counts that was a much more talented team.
    Tubby deserves a banner.

    Congratulations on the induction, Mr. Smith. Well deserved.

    I note that the redesigned site’s douchenozzle filter is not working tonight.

  35. BravoBigBlue
    8:26 am September 28, 2013 Permalink

    Hilarious posts from both sides. Just opinions. The truth is somewhere in the middle. He’s in, might as well go along with it. Not going to effect your life in any way, good or bad. But honestly, Kentucky basketball wasn’t much fun during a big part of Tubby’s tenure. And it went from the #1 program in the country when Pitino left to not even being relevant when Tubby left. But I liked Tubby and still do. That is how I look at it.

  36. Helmet
    8:41 am September 28, 2013 Permalink

    #4: Saul was a punk while at UK. I was there too…just saying. Watched him get worked over on the Seaton courts too about a hundred times by random students and be an @ss about it.

  37. Megan
    9:33 am September 28, 2013 Permalink

    #30, you’re being intellectually dishonest. We were better than “average” under Tubby. We were quite good. But that’s not enough for some of us. The haters hate because we weren’t consistently among the very best.

    Had we beaten Michigan State in that double overtime game in 2005, thereby going to the Final Four, I think maybe Tubby’s image would be a bit different among the haters. Though as for that, I’m convinced another national championship would not have appeased all of the lowlifes.

  38. STEVE!
    9:59 am September 28, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby was great initially, but was handed a program in great shape. Compare that to the last 10 players he signed and convince me he wasn’t trying to ruin the program before he left. Adam Williams, Rekalin Sims, Jarod Carter, Michael Porter, Derrick Jasper, Jodie Meeks, Perry Stevenson, Ramon Harris, Mokinyo Williams, A.J. Stewart. 5 left the program, and four of those that stayed probably averaged less than 5 points a game for their career. Cheer and thank Tubby for the first years, but not for the last ones.

  39. Mark
    11:10 am September 28, 2013 Permalink

    Love reading all of it. I have been a CAT fan since my grandmother took me to Memorial Collisium to watch Coach Rupp games. Funny how the liberals want to always make it about race. I always heard that Rupp was a racist. He was beat up by the SEC coaches for recruiting the 1st Black Basketball player in the SEC. I think people sometimes don’t really think.
    I will say Congrats to Tubby. I think he was a fair coach. He always had a 20+ game win season. He did win a National Title with Rick’s players. The teams and his recruiting were not as good after that but I still paid for my lower level season tickets prices every year. I did get tired of watching his slow down games. We went from Rick’s race horses to Slow down Tubby. Sorry, for me they were not as fun to watch. I wasn’t a big Saul Smith fan. I got tired of watching Tubby play Maglore over Bradley. Bradley left Kentucky and went to Villinova and became their number 1 scorer. For all you liberal name callers, I didn’t hate Tubby. Billy was another story. I am so happy we have coach Cal now, we are finally back to the race horse style of play. Cal is setting records at Kentucky that NO coach in our history will set. I hope he never retires. I think he should be in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

  40. Ten Loss Tubby
    11:38 am September 28, 2013 Permalink

    Funny, reading all the posts from Tubby lovers and Tubby apologists on all his “great” accomplishments, I’m still only seeing ONE Final Four and ONE national title, despite being the 3rd-longest tenured coach in UK history, and that came with Rick’s team. No player who has signed a letter of intent to play for Tubby Smith has played in a final four.

    I’m also seeing FIVE 10-loss seasons, and ZERO NCAA tournament success after riding Rick’s coattails in 1998.

    We don’t hang banners for Elite 8’s or being a nice guy.

  41. Ky_Tom
    12:04 pm September 28, 2013 Permalink

    AS mush as I hate to say this about any UK coach…The list of things that are the Pro Side of things with Tubby Smith while at UK are great, However, this things are expected by any coach at any school. True not all schools can say their coaches managed to do what Smith did while at UK..
    Lots of good things, with 1 National Championship in the mix. Now many will say, he did it with Rick’s team, none the less he did it..
    Now lets at the Con’s side of the ledger while Smith was a UK..
    As poster #5 “”What A Joke”‘…That’s a list of things that hurt every UK fan to their soul, each and every time one of these things happened. There were more of the bad things happening, many more times over the good, over Tubby’s time as coach. Many will get pissed off when I say…Tubby ran off many great recruits by playing his on Saul at the starting Point Guard of the team, or even making him the first sub off the bench in Saul’s first year and second years Any great point guard knew darn well, coming to play at UK meant taking a back seat on he beach behind the coaches son. You just don’t beat out the coaches son..
    Now lets et o the facts….Tubby Smith took a Rick Pitino UK team that was loaded, and won a national title …The team had bench, starters, and Its my opinion, even BGC could have took that team to the Championship game in 1998..Tubby Smith cheated, when he stated he found the magic letter in his disk drawer about Morris. Then he cheated again, when he went behind every UK player, and fan, and ALL his bosses back at UK in December, to talk to Minn about getting hired on there, long before the season was over..He pulled a Bobby Petrino on UK, the lowest form of a person in the business world. but what could be worse than this…..He left UK team in shambles, nothing like what he was handed when he signed on with UK …For this reason alone, I will not forgive the man. just my views…

  42. Rev28k
    12:43 pm September 28, 2013 Permalink

    All this talk about winning with Rick’s team. Show some respect. Players can’t coach themselves and they team had to overcome some tough challenges to win that title.

    1:01 pm September 28, 2013 Permalink

    ==== Must point out to Mr. “Gabe” ……………………..

    I like Tubby Smith ………. Far more than I despise OHbama !