User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Texas Tech introduces Tubby Smith as new coach

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Tubby Smith's time at Texas Tech has begun. And he says he will fit in just fine in West Texas, where cowboy hats and cowboy boots are more prominent than other many other places he's coached.

Advertisement
``I already have some,'' Smith said of his cowboy boots. ``I just didn't bring them with me.''

Texas Tech is counting on Smith to bring the same touch he's used to revive other programs. Texas Tech hasn't had a winning conference record since 2006-07 and it finished 19-43 overall the past two seasons, including a 4-32 mark in the Big 12.

The Red Raiders last went to the NCAA tournament in 2007, Bob Knight's final full season in Lubbock. It's been mostly downhill since then.

Smith won a national title and five Southeastern Conference championships in 10 years with Kentucky before leaving for Minnesota in 2007. Smith, who was replaced at Kentucky by Billy Gillispie, has also taken Tulsa and Georgia to the round of 16.

Now he'll try to do it again at Texas Tech, where he succeeds Gillispie. Smith is the fourth person to lead Texas Tech in as many seasons.

``It's my goal to build this program into one of the top programs, not just in the Big 12 but in the country, and that's not going to be easy,'' he said Tuesday at his first news conference in Lubbock. ``It's going to be hard work.''

Smith was fired by Minnesota last week after six seasons and landed a new job almost as quickly as the weather changes in West Texas. The 61-year-old got a six-year deal from the Red Raiders that will pay him $1.8 million a year, his agent Ricky Lefft said. It is the largest paycheck for a Texas Tech basketball coach

Smith told Texas Tech fans gathered for his introduction that he was ready when athletic director Kirby Hocutt came calling last week.

``I wanted to get back on the horse right away because I feel like I have a lot to offer, a lot of energy,'' he said. ``There's a lot of good years left in me to coach.''

He said he plans to head to the Final Four in Atlanta this weekend to begin putting together his staff.

Smith's experience could be just what the Red Raiders need to pull out of their skid. The AP Coach of the Year in 2003, Smith is known as a program builder who doesn't cut corners. His teams have been clean and he's done things the right way, which could go a long way toward bringing name recognition to Texas Tech.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski called Smith's hire a terrific choice.

``As Tubby has done everywhere he's coached, he will represent Texas Tech in a first-class manner and do an outstanding job leading the program,'' he said in a statement provided by Texas Tech.

Smith led the Golden Gophers to three NCAA tournaments and this year supplied the program's first tourney win - over UCLA - since 1997. He went 124-81 (.610), winning 20 games five times. But he never finished higher than sixth in the Big Ten, going just 46-62 in conference play, and Minnesota's athletic director decided it was time for a change.

In all, Smith is 511-226 (.693) in 22 seasons and his teams have won 20-plus games 19 times. His teams at Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky and Minnesota went to the NCAA tournament in 17 seasons.

Senior Jaye Crockett, the Red Raiders' leading scorer (11.9 points per game) and rebounder (6.5 rpg) this season, said he's heard plenty of good things about Smith.

``Hopefully he can just change it around as quick as possible because I only have a year, so hopefully it can be my best year yet,'' he said.

Crockett has had a different coach each year at Texas Tech. Pat Knight recruited him, he played for Gillispie and this season he had interim coach Chris Walker leading the team.

``I thought it was going to be Pat Knight here, and I'd be seeing Bob Knight in the office, stuff like that,'' he said. ``Same players, same routine. It's a little different. You never know what life will throw at you.''

Gillispie last one season at Texas Tech. Several players left the program and complained to Hocutt about how Gillispie treated them. There were some secondary NCAA violations for exceeding practice times and it all led to the Red Raiders finishing 8-23 and winning just one Big 12 game in 2011-12, the program's worst season since 1990-91.

Gillispie stepped down in September, citing health reasons after two hospital stays. Walker, an assistant at several schools for 17 years, was named interim coach and led Texas Tech to an improved season.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Surgery set for Creighton's Chatman
Wake adds Greek F Mitoglou to roster
Florida G Walker suffers torn ACL
Oklahoma AD to chair hoops committee
Pinson could bolster Tar Heels' defense
Bias to be inducted into Terps' HOF
Top official retiring after '15 season
Memphis adds Lawson to staff
No charges against two PC players
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAABK College Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2013 CBK SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
The Gold Sheet + 3952
Bill Marzano + 2405
Tony Stoffo + 2235
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
No Games Last 7 Days  
   
   
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
The Gold Sheet 57 %
The SportsBoss 56 %
Tony Stoffo 55 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
The Gold Sheet + 2810
Bruce Marshall + 2797
The Prez + 1048
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kyle Hunter + 3283
Antony Dinero + 1301
Tony Stoffo + 1265
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Marc Lawrence + 1600
The SportsBoss + 1422
Bruce Marshall + 1116
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!