Less than 24 hours after the Minnesota Golden Gophers were ousted from the 2013 NCAA Tournament by the No. 3 seed Florida Gators, the university has decided to oust Tubby Smith as head basketball coach despite winning his first game as the school’s head coach.
Smith, who has spent the past six seasons with the Gophers, was fired on Monday afternoon, sources told CBSSports.com. His tenure ends with a 124-81 overall mark and a 46-62 record in Big Ten play.
Smith, 61, won his first NCAA tournament game at the school this past week against UCLA, but new athletic director Norwood Teague — who along with associate AD Mike Ellis was responsible for hiring Shaka Smart at his last stop — decided to go in a different direction and buy out the remaining years of his contract.
It would be a surprise if the Golden Gophers did not make a run at VCU head coach Shaka Smart, but it is hard to imagine a scenario where Smart would be tempted to leave his cozy job with the Rams.
Minnesota must have a store in place and they will need to make sure they land a top candidate if they want to make fans feel comfortable about the Smith firing.