Tubby Smith might be Texas Tech's next head coach

Mary Langenfeld-US PRESSWIRE

Depending on who you believe, Tubby Smith is next in line at Texas Tech.

Tubby Smith might be Texas Tech's next head coach; he might not be. Per the Associated Press:

Per Texas Tech's SID:

If Smith is in charge, it would come as no surprise: Smith relatively quickly emerged as Texas Tech's first choice after Minnesota paid $2.5 million to buy him out.

Smith's resume speaks for itself: after bringing Tulsa to the Sweet 16 in back-to-back years and getting Georgia to the NCAA Tournament in each of his years with the Bulldogs, he won a national title in his first season in charge of Kentucky. Although he'd continue to make the NCAA Tournament every year with the Wildcats, his inability to repeat his early success caught up to him, and he left in 2007 -- not fired, but chased out by heavy criticism. He had decent success with Minnesota -- certainly more than any coach in recent memory whose accomplishments weren't later stripped by the NCAA -- making three tournaments in six years and winning the team's first tourney game since 1997 this past year. But it wasn't enough for him to keep his job.

At Texas Tech, Smith's coaching makeup would be put to the test. The Red Raiders haven't made the NCAA Tournament since 2007, when Bobby Knight was still head coach. His son and successor, Pat Knight, would never finish better than ninth in conference play with Texas Tech in a full season, and his successor, Billy Gillispie, went 1-17 before resigning amidst some combination of health concerns and allegations over player mistreatment. Chris Walker served as the team's interim coach, but it was known the team was looking for somebody new.

If hired, Smith will be tasked to returning a team that had pretty significant success under Bobby Knight to some form of relevance. Knight had brought the team to four NCAA Tournament appearances in his seven years after just ten appearances in the school's entire history. They haven't been back since.

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