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Tubby Smith out at Memphis

(Photo: Getty Images North America)

(Photo: Getty Images North America)

…and there it is. According to Mark Giannotto, Tubby Smith’s two-year tenure at Memphis is over:

In April 2016, Tubby took over for Josh Pastner, who left Memphis for Georgia Tech. Over two seasons, he compiled a 40-26 record, leading Memphis to a fifth place finish in the American Athletic Conference. For the past few months, rumors have swirled that Memphis officials wanted to replace Tubby with Penny Hardaway, who has made a name for himself as a coach at the high school/AAU level.

Whether or not Penny ends up at Memphis remains to be seen, but for now, Tubby is out. Where do you predict he’ll end up next?

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Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

51 Comments for Tubby Smith out at Memphis



  1. rickwhitetx
    1:04 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    How about Georgia? He was pretty successful there the first time around.
    Or, maybe Louisville. They need a good coach that does things the right way.



    • jmac1962
      1:12 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      Hmmm that would be interesting. So if he went to Louisville, would we be as upset with him as we were with RP when he took the job?



    • Han
      1:14 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      Nah, Tubby’s had 3 other jobs since he was here and we’re in a good place with Cal, reaching multiple Final Fours and getting a natty. Not the same as coming back to a rival after leaving us for the NBA.



    • ukcamel
      1:21 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      Rick left UK for the NBA and then went back to Louisville when that didn’t work. Tubby was asked to resign. Apples and oranges. Anyone that would be mad at Tubby for this is a dummy.

      That being said, I like him going to High Point, if they haven’t already hired someone. He will be happy there and allowed to coach his way.



    • Han
      2:57 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      I thought he resigned because he was being told he needed to change his assistants and he chose to leave instead? Sure, UK may have known he’d do that, but it was still his decision to go interview for Minnesota without even telling his players first.



    • ukcamel
      4:22 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      My recollection is everyone believed that UK subtlety suggested he resign, because they didn’t want to fire the first black coach who also had won a title, even though it had been a decade and the last few years had been mediocre.



    • Bull Filmer
      4:44 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      @rickwhittx – precisely my initial inclination. But for the KENTUCKY job opportunity, Tubby was the guy.

      I don’t see uavel offering. They got rid of a hall of fame coach Denny Crum for a much younger Hrrrick Puteeno primarily because of coaching style.

      Good luck to Tubby wherever he goes. But it may be time to retire; perhaps announce a little.



  2. Angelo
    1:10 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Yep I miss the old ball ? line defense



  3. Blue Boy
    1:15 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Oh no. That could spell trouble for Wisemann, and even DJ Jeffries.



    • crazycatfan65
      2:22 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      Wiseman and Jeffries both play for Penny but I wonder if they would have second thoughts about playing for him in college since he has no coaching experience. Seems like they would have learnt their lesson with Pastner who had no head coaching experience.



    • Han
      2:58 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      If either of them cares more about winning and NBA prep, UK is still the obvious pick. If they really love Memphis and Penny, then it’s tougher.



  4. Kat4Life
    1:21 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    All I care about now is James Wiseman



  5. Exilecop
    1:21 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Tubby to EKU



  6. Rod Crandler
    1:25 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Hey Memphis, if you keep dumping the cute girl because you think you deserve a super model, you’re going to end up old and alone, living with cats.



  7. david8577
    1:35 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Sorry, but Memphis doesn’t deserve any better than Tubby.



  8. Wilfred Smith
    1:41 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    2 years? That’s not much time, but the transfers out of the program before the season signalled what would come. Hopefully Wiseman looks at Cal’s NBA guys and tells Penny thanks but no thanks.



  9. david8577
    1:56 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Also, this clearly means that everyone in Memphis is racist.



    • cats646
      2:23 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      Everyone in Memphis is black.



    • Jiminy Crickets
      2:24 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      So are all of Texas tech and Minnesota!! All of these teams are “set back 10 years”



    • jaws2
      3:50 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      Yep, because there are no black racists!!!



  10. chief_cat
    1:59 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Georgia might be a possible landing spot for Tubby. He did quite well there the first time around and gave us fits. However, if Maryland decides to dump Mark Turgeon I wouldn’t be surprised to see UMd go after Tubby. He’s from Maryland and his style of play fits better in the Big Ten than many other conferences. That being said, his time at Minnesota didn’t end well.



  11. Alleykat16
    2:08 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    A school that thinks 20 wins with double digit loses is ok with making the tourney every other year or two is ok then they should hire tubby. That’s what tubby is a 20 win a season coach, but dont think he’s going to be taking you to final 4 every year then move on because that’s just not who he is. Georgia was the percect place for him probably still be there if I wasn’t for UK come calling



    • Kevin C
      3:00 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      That’s actually almost EXACTLY what Minnesota said when they hired him….they were happy to get a “20-10” coach. A few years later….not.



    • ukcamel
      4:26 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      There are so many teams that are delusionally not ok with this. It reminds me a little of UK football fans though – thankfully the admins don’t take orders from that group of bozos.



    • TBW3011
      8:13 am March 15, 2018 Permalink

      He actually rarely makes the tourney since he left here. I agree with your premise though.



  12. ColoCat
    2:13 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Pitt could use a Tubby Smith



  13. Alvaton
    2:14 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Time for Tubby to retire, the game has passed him by.



  14. bosch8184
    2:22 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Flashback to when we were called “Bad fans” for pointing out that Tubby actually sort of sucked and things weren’t likely to get much better.



    • 4everUKblue
      4:41 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      I remember it well and I was one of those bad fans.



    • CatBlue in LR
      12:01 am March 15, 2018 Permalink

      Whadya think, time for an LOD reunion to reminisce about the bad ol’ days?



  15. Jiminy Crickets
    2:23 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    I wish UK fans would get it straight. Tubby was negotiating with Minnesota WHILE coaching at UK. He had already agreed to terms with Minnesota during SEC tourney. UK was shocked when tubby announced he was leaving. Was there fan pressure? Yes! But there’s a reason he doesn’t have his name in Rupp, UK administration felt blindsided by him. Sorry nice then he’s either been forced out, fired, or quit from 4 different schools. You can call Tubby a “nice guy” all you want, he clashes with fans and administrators every where he goes.



    • Jiminy Crickets
      2:25 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      Since then he’s either…..



    • Kevin C
      3:01 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      Exactly…but Cal-haters, and Pitino apologists, never want to hear the truth.



    • Smyrna_Cat
      4:02 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      At that point, most at UK wanted Tubby gone. The discomfort was palpable. I don’t think given that context any felt bad that Tubby was talking to others, and if anything, it was a relief not to have to fire him.

      No hard feelings, just glad he left when he did.



    • catdaddyd
      6:52 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      I don’t disagree, but why did UK pay him a bunch of money when he left?



  16. 2thepoint
    3:21 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Would love to see him at UL because he would only recruit 3 star players like he mostly did at UK.



  17. TonyMontana
    3:38 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Tubby is gonna be coaching at Louisville. Penny turns down Memphis and they hire Pitino. Unlikely? Yes. Fun? Yes.



  18. BigTimeOwen
    3:47 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Georgia is the best fit but given what Tubby has done lately at all his stops, is he even considered a good coach anymore? How do you piss off your team so bad that your top 7 players transfer? I just don’t get it and I kind of doubt he gets a power conference gig for a while.



  19. Rick_S
    3:50 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Tubby should be coaching HS



  20. CoachCat
    3:55 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Creen to Pitt. Stallings to Georgia. Penny at Memphis. Loserville keeps their young coach.



    • Smyrna_Cat
      4:03 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      I would agree with all of that, except for Stallings. He was terrible at Pitt.



  21. M.T.Pockets
    7:32 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    tubby packed his bags and sneaked out in the middle of the night without a hell, goodbye or kiss my @ss to anybody. he had only 6 weeks more to stay at ky. to get a 1000.000 dollar bonus he still left. and damned if UK didn’t give it to him anyway!! never did figure that one out….



  22. JMFATZ47
    9:03 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Jmac: dude. Are you serious? Not sure how you can compare the 2 coaches. Lol



  23. blueblue
    9:26 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    I hope Tubby goes to Georgia. I think it would be a great opportunity for him.



  24. TBW3011
    8:10 am March 15, 2018 Permalink

    If another school pays Tubby top money, they have lost their damn minds. He stopped working hard while he was at UK and hasn’t worked a day since. Knows his x’s and o’s, but that’s where it stops.