Despite conflicting reports, the Texas Tech Red Raiders will reportedly hire NCAA championship-winning coach Tubby Smith as their new head coach.
Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press reported on Monday that Smith and the Red Raiders agreed to terms on a contract, citing a source with knowledge of the situation.
And whilst that was originally disputed, Texas Tech Associate Athletics Director Blayne Beal confirmed later that the Red Raiders will hire Smith as the new head basketball coach in a news conference on Tuesday.
Blayne Beal @BlayneBeal
Texas Tech will hold a 2 pm news conference tomorrow to introduce Tubby Smith as head basketball coach.4/2/2013, 3:51:46 AM
UPDATE: Monday, April 1, at 6 p.m. ET by Tim Keeney
Texas Tech has yet to make anything official, but there is another report (this one from ESPN) that Smith and the Red Raiders have come to an agreement:
Tubby Smith has agreed to terms to become the next coach at Texas Tech, a source confirmed to ESPN.com's Jason King Monday.
The Associated Press had earlier reported that the school had agreed to terms Monday with Smith on a contract.
The school wouldn't confirm an agreement, releasing a statement that read: "There is currently not an agreement in place between Texas Tech and Tubby Smith to be the basketball coach."
---End of update---
UPDATE: Monday, April 1 at 3:50 p.m. ET by Matt Fitzgerald
Marcus R. Fuller of the Pioneer Press confirms that Smith and the Red Raiders have reached an agreement in principle:
Marcus R. Fuller @Marcus_R_Fuller
Confirmed the Tubby Smith to Texas Tech agreement in principle. Good hire for the Red Raiders. We'll see who he has on his staff.4/1/2013, 7:43:50 PM
---End of update---
If he does get this gig, it will not have taken long for Smith to find work again. He would bring plenty of credibility and experience to the Red Raiders' program, which just endured an 11-20 season in 2012-13.
Smith won the 1998 NCAA championship as head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats, and then took the Minnesota job beginning in 2007.
Coincidentally, he will be taking over a Texas Tech program whose last full-time head coach was Billy Gillispie, who succeeded Smith in Lexington.
Gillispie resigned in September after a tumultuous one-year tenure, and the Red Raiders could not manage better than 3-15 in Big 12 conference play under interim coach Chris Walker, as Krawczynski pointed out.
In his six years with the Golden Gophers, Smith led the program to three NCAA tournament appearances and broke out of the round of 64 this season with a dominant, 20-point victory over UCLA.
Minnesota wound up 21-13 this past year, marking Smith's fifth 20-win season in the Twin Cities.
However, the Golden Gophers posted a record of 8-10 in Big Ten play, the nation's best conference in the regular season. Competing in the Big 12 should be slightly easier for Smith.