Memphis hires Tubby Smith away from Texas Tech

Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith has emerged as a candidate for the opening at Memphis. (USATSI)
Tubby Smith is the new head coach at Memphis. (USATSI)

Memphis has reached an agreement in principle to hire Texas Tech’s Tubby Smith as its next coach, a source told CBS Sports early Thursday.

A formal announcement is expected soon.

Smith, 64, was offered the Memphis job Wednesday morning, a source told CBS Sports. But sources said Texas Tech quickly counter-offered with a huge raise and extension, which caused Smith to at least think everything through. Ultimately, though, he realized it’s much easier to win consistently at Memphis than it is at Texas Tech, a source said. So the likely future Hall of Famer agreed to fill the opening previously held by Josh Pastner.

Pastner left Memphis last week to coach Georgia Tech.

Smith spent three seasons at Texas Tech. He’s guided five different schools to the NCAA Tournament — most notably Kentucky. He won a national title at UK in 1998.


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