Less than one week after Josh Pastner left Memphis for Georgia Tech, the Tigers have their new basketball coach. Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith has reportedly accepted the gig, according to ESPN. Smith, who went 46-50 in three years in Lubbock but went 19-13 with an NCAA Tournament berth this season, and won the Big 12 Coach of the Year Award this year. Most notably, Smith went 35-4 and won a national title with Kentucky in 1997-98. He has accrued a 557-276 career record at Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota and Texas Tech.
Smith called Red Raiders athletic director Kirby Hocutt to tell him he was accepting the Tigers job, Texas Tech senior associate athletic director Robert Giovannetti told ESPN’s Andy Katz on Thursday.
The 64-year-old Smith had three years remaining on his contract at Texas Tech, and he is obligated to pay a $900,000 buyout to the school.
Memphis announced that it will hold a 1 p.m. ET news conference at FedExForum to introduce its new coach but did not identify the hire. The Tigers are replacing Josh Pastner, who left to be the head coach at Georgia Tech last week.
With Smith taking the Memphis job, the American Athletic Conference has added a former national-championship-winning coach in Smith, a former NBA Coach of the Year in Mike Dunleavy (Tulane) and former Stanfordcoach Johnny Dawkins (Central Florida) in the past few weeks.
Smith received the John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching award Friday in Los Angeles. He is one of two coaches, along with Lon Kruger, to lead five schools to the NCAA tournament.