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Report: Tubby Smith could be Memphis basketball’s next coach

Former Kentucky coach Tubby Smith, who took Texas Tech to the NCAA Tournament this past season, is reportedly under consideration for Memphis job.
Former Kentucky coach Tubby Smith, who took Texas Tech to the NCAA Tournament this past season, is reportedly under consideration for Memphis job. The Associated Press

Could Tubby Smith be changing jobs again?

Gary Parrish of CBS Sports tweeted that the Texas Tech coach is at the top of the Memphis wish list.

Memphis has been in the market for a new coach since Josh Pastner left for Georgia Tech last week. Pastner went 167-73 in seven years as John Calipari’s successor there. His last two teams went 37-29 and failed to make the NCAA Tournament.

Meanwhile, Smith earned national coach of the year honors after taking the Red Raiders to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007. Texas Tech went 19-13 overall and 9-9 in the Big 12. It lost to Butler in the first round of the NCAA Tourney. Smith is 46-50 overall in his three years at Lubbock.

Before that, Smith was 124-81 in six seasons at Minnesota. And before that, of course, Smith was 263-83 in 10 seasons at Kentucky, where he won a national title in 1998. Smith was 79-43 in four seasons at Tulsa and 45-19 in two years at Georgia before coming to UK.

Smith, who turns 65 this week, has taken all five schools to the NCAA Tournament. Lon Kruger is the only other coach -- Kansas State, Florida, Illinois, UNLV and Oklahoma -- to do the same.

Dan Wolken of USA Today, who formerly covered Memphis basketball for the Commercial Appeal, reports that Smith has informed Texas Tech officials of Memphis' interest. Wolken also reports that it is believed Smith would accept if the job is offered.

Why would he leave Texas Tech for Memphis? The latter has a much better basketball tradition and it would be closer to Smith's Mid-Atlantic and Southern roots. Plus, Texas Tech is normally fighting an uphill battle in the notoriously tough Big 12.

Tubby Smith coaching record

Year

School

Record

Conf

Post-season

1991-92

Tulsa

17-13

12-6

1992-93

Tulsa

15-14

10-8

1993-94

Tulsa

23-8

15-3

NCAA Sweet 16

1994-95

Tulsa

24-8

15-3

NCAA Sweet 16

1995-96

Georgia

21-10

9-7

NCAA Sweet 16

1996-97

Georgia

24-9

10-6

NCAA 1st round

1997-98

Kentucky

35-4

14-2

NCAA champions

1998-99

Kentucky

28-9

11-5

NCAA Elite 8

1999-00

Kentucky

23-10

12-4

NCAA 2nd round

2000-01

Kentucky

24-10

12-4

NCAA Sweet 16

2001-02

Kentucky

22-10

10-6

NCAA Sweet 16

2002-03

Kentucky

32-4

16-0

NCAA Elite 8

2003-04

Kentucky

27-5

13-3

NCAA 2nd round

2004-05

Kentucky

28-6

14-2

NCAA Elite 8

2005-06

Kentucky

22-13

9-7

NCAA 2nd round

2006-07

Kentucky

22-12

9-7

NCAA 2nd round

2007-08

Minnesota

20-14

8-10

NIT 1st round

2008-09

Minnesota

22-11

9-9

NCAA 1st round

2009-10

Minnesota

21-14

9-9

NCAA 1st round

2010-11

Minnesota

17-14

6-12

2011-12

Minnesota

23-15

6-12

NIT runner-up

2012-13

Minnesota

21-13

8-10

NCAA 2nd round

2013-14

Texas Tech

14-18

6-12

2014-15

Texas Tech

13-19

3-15

2015-16

Texas Tech

19-13

9-9

NCAA 1st round

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