Tubby Smith took the podium for the first time as head coach of Texas Tech basketball Tuesday afternoon, fist-pounded Tech mascot Raider Red, and opened with a joke:
"We didn't bring this weather with us. I promise you that!"
It may be an abnormally cool day in Lubbock, but it was a warm reception for Tech basketball's new head man.
"Tubby Smith is one of the most respected coaches in all of inter-collegiate sports," Tech A.D. Kirby Hocutt said. "We couldn't be more pleased with the announcement of Tubby Smith as our new head coach."
In 21 seasons coaching at Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky, and Minnesota, Tubby has amassed a career record of 511-226. That includes 18 20-win seasons and he's the fifth coach in NCAA history to lead four different programs to the NCAA Tournament (17 total). Smith even won a NCAA National Championship at the University of Kentucky in 1998.
"I'm very intrigued by the Red Raider program," Smith said. "I have plenty left to give the game of basketball, and this place sold me right away."
Smith comes to Texas Tech after a six-year tenure at Minnesota where he led the Golden Gophers to a 124-81 record. He directed the team to three NCAA Tournaments, and this past season led Minnesota to its first tournament victory since 1997. Despite the success, he was fired from Minnesota because his teams never finished higher than 6th place in the Big Ten conference while amassing just a 46-62 record in conference play.
"My tenure at Minnesota is one that I'm very proud of," Smith said. "It was tough to leave but life goes on. The enthusiasm the leadership here (Tech) shows, really sold me. We need to get started right away. That's why I'm here. I've analyzed the potential of this program and I have plenty left to give. I've recruited this state before and we can win here."
Smith's contract is for six years at approximately $1.5 million per year. Performance bonuses include:
-$250,000 for winning big 12 regular season championship
-$100,000 for winning Big 12 tournament
-$50,000 for making NCAA Tournament
-$100,000 for making Final Four
-$250,000 for winning NCAA championship
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