By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Minneapolis, MN - According to Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports, after six seasons as head coach of the Minnesota Gophers men's basketball team, Tubby Smith has been relieved of his duties earlier this morning.
Smith led the Gophers to the third round (round of 32) in this year's NCAA tournament but the accomplishment seems to have been too little, too late for Smith as his Gophers squad finished a disappointing season on Sunday with a 78-64 loss to the University of Florida.
Originally hired by former Athletic Director Joel Maturi, Smith was a huge hire for Minnesota when he splashed onto the scene with the Gophers in 2007. but the honeymoon didn't last long for Tubby and the Gophers. It become a regular part of the next six seasons as Gopher talent failed to develop, the Big Ten conference schedule caused handfuls of problems and the team failed to make a deep run in the postseason year, after year, after year.
Whether or not the problem is larger than the head coaching position, athletic director Norwood Teague made a bold move today by reportedly forking over the $2.5M buyout and pinning the scape goat role on Tubby Smith.
With the decision having been made to move on, the time is now for Teague and the University to move on coaching candidates that will step in and replace Smith as head coach. The obvious names for the job include Virginia Commonwealth head coach Shaka Smart (whom Teague worked with at VCU) and former Timberwolves coach and Minnesota alumnus, Flip Saunders.
Smith will finish his head coaching career at Minnesota with a 124–81 (.605) record overall and a disappointing 46–62 (.426) record in conference play.
Aj Mansour covers the Twins, Vikings, & Gopher Football for KFAN.com. Feel free to leave comments and questions on this post or others in the designated comment box below. For Golden Gopher updates and breaking news follow Aj on Twitter @AjKFAN