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Minnesota Fires Basketball Coach Tubby Smith After Six Seasons

University of Minnesota Coach Tubby Smith
University of Minnesota men's basketball coach Tubby Smith was named Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year in 1998, 2003 and 2005. Photographer: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The University of Minnesota fired men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith one day after the Golden Gophers’ season ended in the Round of 32 at the national tournament.

Smith, 61, was dismissed today after six seasons in Minnesota, Athletic Director Norwood Teague announced in a statement on the school’s athletics website. He was 124-81, including 46-62 in Big Ten play.

“Tubby has had a long and distinguished career and we feel it’s time for a fresh set of eyes for our student-athletes and our program in general,” Teague said.

Minnesota started the 2012-13 season 15-1 but lost 12 of its final 18 games and entered the NCAA tournament as a No. 11-seed in the 16-team South region of the National Collegiate Athletic Association championship event.

The Golden Gophers beat sixth-seeded UCLA 83-63, Smith’s first NCAA tournament victory with Minnesota, before falling 78-64 yesterday to the University of Florida.

The Golden Gophers made the tournament three times in Smith’s tenure, losing their opening game in 2009 and 2010.

Smith was the coach of the University of Kentucky from 1997 to 2007. He won a national title with the Wildcats in 1998 and was named Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year in 1998, 2003 and 2005.

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