Participates in Coaches vs Cancer
High Point University men's basketball head coach Tubby Smith participated in the Coaches vs. Cancer campaign Wednesday (Feb. 6) at the Subway on North Main Street in High Point.
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.
Associate Head Coach
G.G. Smith was named HPU men’s basketball associate head coach in May 2017. Smith came to High Point after serving five years as the head coach at Loyola University Maryland. He was an assistant coach for six seasons under Jimmy Patsos before taking over the helm of the Greyhounds program.
As a member of the Loyola coaching staff, Smith helped guide the Greyhounds to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1994 when Loyola won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title in 2012. That season, the Greyhounds won a school Division I record 24 games and also were successful in a school-best 13 conference games. Smith guided the Greyhounds to the College Basketball Invitational in 2016-17 and picked up the upset over host George Mason in the first round.
Prior to joining the staff at Loyola prior to the 2007-08 season, Smith was an assistant at nearby Johns Hopkins University in 2006-07, helping the Blue Jays to a 24-5 record and berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Eric Gabriel joined the High Point University men’s basketball staff as the team’s first-ever Director of Video Operations in 2013 and was promoted to assistant coach in 2015.
Since Gabriel joined the HPU staff in 2013, the Panthers were one of just four programs in the nation to have won four-consecutive regular season conference championships from 2013-16. The others were Kansas, Gonzaga and Stephen F. Austin. The Panthers lead the Big South in conference wins, conference winning percentage and postseason appearances over the past five years.
During Gabriel’s tenure, HPU has set a number of program firsts. In 2014-15, HPU set new Div. I program records for wins (23), conference wins (13) and road wins (9) while picking up the first postseason victory in the program’s Div. I era. In 2015-16, HPU matched that conference win total and set a new record with seven league road victories. HPU won 20 games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the mid 1990s and the first time in the program’s Div. I history.
Keith Gatlin joined the High Point University men’s basketball program as an assistant coach in July 2018.
Gatlin came to HPU after nine years as the boys basketball coach at nearby Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point. He led the Trojans to NCISAA Championships in 2013 and 2014 and the Trojans were state runner-ups in 2015 and 2017.
Before being at Wesleyan Christian, Gatlin was the boys basketball coach at Veritas Academy in Kernersville, was the girls coach at Greensboro Day School and was an assistant boys coach at GDS serving under Freddy Johnson.
Director of Operations
Scott Lombardi is entering his fifth year as the Director of Basketball Operations for the men’s basketball team.
In his first three years with High Point, the Panthers achieved many firsts in their program history including most wins in Division I annals (23), Big South wins (13), road wins (9), and Big South road wins, (7). The men’s basketball team also earned its first postseason (CIT) win in school history along with capturing a fourth-consecutive Big South regular season championship and school record fourth-consecutive postseason appearance by advancing to the NIT in 2015-2016.
The team’s fourth-consecutive regular season championship put the Panthers in elite company as one of only four schools in NCAA Division I men’s basketball to accomplish this feat from 2013-16. In 2015-16, High Point won 21 games and in the process clinched back-to-back 20 win seasons for the first time since 1994-95.