Head Coach: University of Memphis
Legendary basketball coach Tubby Smith, who guided the University of Kentucky to the 1998 NCAA title, is in his second year with the University of Memphis program after becoming the 18th head coach in the storied history of the program.
Smith has a 576-289 career record as head coach at Memphis, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky, and Minnesota, is a three-time National Coach of the Year, and in 2016 was named The Sporting News National Coach of the Year, Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year, and John Wooden Legends of Coaching Award recipient. Since being named head coach at Memphis, Smith has also been the recipient of the Mannie Jackson Human Spirit Award. During a 10-year span between his tenures with three different programs (Tulsa, Georgia, and Kentucky), he advanced his team to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 or beyond eight times.
“A historic hire for the University of Memphis,” said President M. David Rudd of Coach Tubby Smith. “He is the most accomplished coach the UofM has ever hired. For the University of Memphis and our basketball program, Tubby Smith is simply the right guy at the right time.”
“Tubby Smith is one of the finest collegiate basketball coaches and is a man of tremendous character,” said Memphis Athletics Director Tom Bowen. “Nationally, he is highly respected as a leader of young men and as a teacher of the game. I am honored that Coach Smith has agreed to become the next head men’s basketball coach at the University of Memphis.”
Smith has led teams to one National Championship, four NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearances, nine NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearances, and 17 overall NCAA Tournament berths. He has coached nine NBA draft picks and 19 former players have gone on to play in the NBA.
In his first season with the Tigers, he led Memphis to a 19-13 overall record, including a win over eventual NCAA Final Four participant South Carolina. He guided redshirt freshman K.J. Lawson to American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year honors, while Dedric Lawson was named First Team All-Region following a season in which he became the second player in the NCAA since 1992-93 to score 600+ points, pull down 300+ rebounds, dish out 100+ assists, and block 60+ shots in a season.