Memphis fires former Texas Tech basketball coach Tubby Smith

Veteran coach Tubby Smith has been fired by Memphis, according to the Memphis Commercial- Appeal’s Mark Giannotto.

Smith previously coached at Texas Tech from 2013-2016, posting a 46-50 record before leaving for Memphis. He was replaced by Chris Beard, who now has the Red Raiders coming off one of their best seasons in recent memory as they head to the NCAA Tournament as a No. 3 seed.

Smith, 66, posted a 40-26 overall record in his two seasons with the team. Memphis failed to reach a postseason tournament under Smith, marking the first time since 1951 that a Memphis coach didn’t lead the Tigers to the postseason tournament in his first two years.

Earlier in his career, Smith matched an NCAA record by taking five schools to the NCAA Tournament. He led Kentucky to the 1998 national championship by beating Utah in San Antonio. Smith also has taken Georgia, Tulsa, Minnesota and the Red Raiders to the NCAA Tournament.

Attendance at Memphis home games also dropped significantly under Smith. The Tigers’ averaged approximately 6,000 fans per game this season, less than half the average of 16,000 during the 2013-2014 campaign when Josh Pastner was still the team’s coach.

Smith’s buyout is $9.75 million — marking a costly end to what many hoped would be a promising tenure. Instead, the Tigers will be spending the offseason searching for a new coach, while Smith’s previous school is going dancing.

The leading candidate for the  Memphis job is alum Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, the coach at East High School in Memphis and an NBA All-Star during his pro career.

The post Memphis fires former Texas Tech basketball coach Tubby Smith appeared first on Diehards.

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