Tubby Smith has been fired ast Minnesota's men's basketball coach, reports the Star Tribune:
Tubby Smith has been fired as Gophers men’s basketball coach, U of M Board of Regents Chairwoman Linda Cohen confirmed Monday. Cohen said she received a phone call from U of M President Eric Kaler on Monday telling her of the news. The Gophers athletic office later put out a press release confirming the news.
Smith’s contract comes with a $2.5 million buyout — a number that jumped from $1.5 million after he signed an extension last summer shortly after Norwood Teague took over as Minnesota’s athletic director. He also gets $150,000 for making the round of 32 this year, a $250,000 retirement contribution and three months severance (base plus supplemental salary), which totals about $450,000. That’s a total of $3.35 million.
Though Smith had a losing Big Ten record at Minnesota, his overall record at the school was a not shabby 124-81 and his teams made three NCAA tournament appearances during his six seasons in Minneapolis. His Gophers picked up the school's first tournament win since 1990 – wins, including a Final Four run under former coach Clem Haskins are vacated – Friday night against UCLA.
In what turned out to be his final game with the Gophers, Smith had the audacity to coach his 11th-seeded team to a 78-64 loss to No. 3 Florida, a favorite to cut down the nets.
To fire Smith now would strongly seem to indicate that athletic director Norwood Teague feels he has a strong play on VCU's Shaka Smart, who worked for Teague when he was at VCU.