2000 U.S. Olympic Team Assistant Coach
University of Kentucky's extremely successful head mentor Tubby Smith is making his third appearance with a USA Basketball team.
"It's a tremendous honor to be selected as an assistant coach with USA Basketball," said Smith. "I have a chance to coach with Rudy Tomjanovich, Larry Brown and Gene Keady, three of the best coaches in the business, while having a rare opportunity to coach the very best basketball players the United States has to offer."
This is not Smith's first USA Basketball coaching experience. Last summer he teamed with Larry Brown and Gene Keady and as an assistant coach helped guide the USA Pre-Olympic Qualifying Team to a 10-0 finish, the gold medal finish and an Olympic qualifying berth. In 1995 he directed the U.S. Olympic Festival North Team to a 3-1 record and the gold medal.
As a head coach, Smith has now directed three college programs to success. Having compiled a sparkling overall record of 210-85 for a 71.2 winning percentage in nine seasons as a college head coach, his squads have made seven consecutive NCAA Tournaments, including five Sweet 16 appearances. His three programs have won 72.7 percent of their NCAA Tournament games while compiling an impressive postseason record of 16-6.
The native of Scotland, Maryland, was introduced as the Wildcats' 20th head coach on May 12, 1997, six days after Rick Pitino announced he was resigning to become the new coach of the NBA Boston Celtics. Smith had served from 1988-91 with Pitino as a UK assistant coach for two seasons before accepting his first head coaching job at the University of Tulsa (Okla.).
After leading Kentucky to the 1998 NCAA National Championship in his inaugural season, Smith 'Cats in 1999 came within one game of making a second consecutive NCAA Final Four. In 1999-2000, Smith directed the Wildcats to a 23-10 overall record, a share of the Southeastern Conference East Division regular season title and to the NCAA Tournament second round. In his three seasons at Kentucky, Smith as compiled a shining 86-23 record for an 78.9 winning percentage.
Finishing 28-9 in 1998-99 and advancing to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, Smith made a remarkable debut at Kentucky in 1997-98. The Wildcats rolled up a 35-4 record and captured Kentucky's seventh NCAA national title, and in the process, he also directed the Wildcats to the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Eastern Division title and the SEC Tournament championship. He became the first coach since Cincinnati's Ed Jucker in 1961 to win the national title in his first year at a school. He was voted co-SEC Coach of the Year by the Associated Press and capped the magical year by earning Basketball Weekly's National Coach of the Year award.
Prior to his arrival at Kentucky, Smith spent two seasons as head mentor at the University of Georgia (1995-97) where he tallied a 45-19 overall record for a 70.3 winning percentage and recorded the first back-to-back seasons of 20 wins or more in school history. Leading Georgia in his first season to a 21-10 mark and a NCAA Tournament Final 16 appearance, the following season Smith's squad finished 24-9 and again qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
He made his college head coaching debut at the Tulsa and in four seasons (1991-95), the Golden Hurricane compiled a mark of 79-43 (.648). After rebuilding the program in his first two years, Smith led Tulsa to consecutive Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) regular season titles in 1994 and 1995 and to two Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament finishes. Compiling a 47-16 record (23-8 in 1993-94 and 24-8 in 1994-95), Smith was named as the MVC Coach of the Year both seasons.
Before coming to Kentucky in 1989, Smith was an assistant coach for George Felton (now Smith's assistant at UK) at the University of South Carolina, where the Gamecocks notched a 53-35 record during his three years. Previously, Smith served as assistant coach at Virginia Commonwealth for seven years, including six seasons under J.D. Barnett. In those seven seasons, VCU registered a 144-64 record, won three Sun Belt Conference Championships and made five NCAA Tournament appearances.
Smith began his coaching career at Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Md., where he was head coach for four years and compiled a 46-36 record. His next stop came at Hoke County High School in Raeford, N.C., where he recorded a 28-18 mark in two seasons.
A 1973 graduate of High Point College (N.C.), Smith was an all-conference performer as a senior. He played under three different head coaches at High Point, including Barnett, and earned a bachelor of science degree in health and physical education.
Smith is the sixth of 17 children raised on a rural farm in southern Maryland. He and his wife Donna, have three sons: Orlando (G.G.), 22; Saul, 20; and Brian, 15. G.G. was a point guard at the University of Georgia from 1996-1999, while Saul was a junior guard at the University of Kentucky this past year.
Collegiate Coaching Record:
Overall Collegiate Head Coaching Record (8 years): 210-85 (.712%)
Head Coach University of Kentucky (1998-00): 86-23 (.789%)
Head Coach University of Georgia (1996-97): 45-19 (.703%)
Head Coach University of Tulsa (1992-95): 79-43 (.648%)
USA Basketball Coaching Record:
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