HPU Athletics Hall of Famer Tubby Smith came home in March 2018 to become the 12th men's basketball head coach in program history. The former all-conference guard of High Point College came back to his alma mater after serving as the head coach at Memphis for two seasons.
Smith coached Kentucky to the 1998 national championship and is one of two head coaches to guide five different programs to the NCAA Division I Tournament (Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota and Texas Tech).
Smith has been named National Coach of the Year three times (2003, 2005, 2016), conference coach of the year six times (1994, 1995, 1998, 2003, 2005, 2016) and was honored with the John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award in 2016. In 2000, Smith was an assistant coach on Rudy Tomjanovich’s staff that led the United States to Olympic gold.
Smith has made 20 postseason appearances as a head coach, including nine Sweet Sixteen and four Elite Eight trips. Smith has mentored 18 student-athletes who have gone on to play in the NBA, including 13 NBA draft picks. In 27 seasons at six schools, Smith has amassed a combined record of 597-302 (.664).
Smith, a native of Scotland, Md., started his coaching career at Great Mills High School, his high school alma mater, in Great Mills, Md., before moving to Hoke County High School in Raeford, N.C. He had three assistant coach stops at VCU, South Carolina and Kentucky before earning his first Division I head coaching job at Tulsa in 1991.
Smith led Tulsa to a pair of Sweet Sixteen appearances in 1994 and 1995 before moving to Georgia where he accumulated a 45-19 record in two seasons. In 1997, Smith went back to Kentucky, this time as the head coach, and led the Wildcats to the 1998 national championship. He secured a 262-83 record with five Sweet Sixteen trips and 10 NCAA Tournament appearances in 10 seasons.
Smith also was the head coach at Minnesota for six seasons and turned around a fledgling program at Texas Tech in three seasons before moving to Memphis in 2016.
The former Panther standout was inducted into the High Point University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016. In 2013, Smith was inducted into the University of Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.
Smith graduated with a degree in health and physical education from High Point in 1973.
A native of Scotland, Md., Smith is the sixth of 17 children of Guffrie and Parthenia Smith. He is married to his wife Donna, and has three sons, G.G., Saul and Brian, and a daughter, Trisch.
Tubby Smith By the Numbers • 28 seasons as Division I head coach – 613-317 (.659) overall record • 3x National Coach of the Year • AP College Coach of the Year (2003) • Naismith College Coach of the Year (2003) • NABC Coach of the Year (2003) • Henry Iba Award (2003) • Basketball Times Coach of the Year (2003) • Jim Phelan Award (2005) • Sporting News National Coach of the Year (2016) • 6x Conference Coach of the Year • 2× MVC Coach of the Year (1994, 1995) • 3× SEC Coach of the Year (1998, 2003, 2005) • Big 12 Coach of the Year (2016) • John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award (2016) • 1998 NCAA Championship with Kentucky • 3 NCAA Elite Eight appearances • 9 NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances • 18 NCAA Tournament appearances • 20 postseason tournament appearances • 7x Conference Regular Season Championships • 5x SEC regular season titles (1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005) • 2x MVC regular season titles (1994, 1995) • 5x SEC Tournament Championships (1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004)